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Duration 75 mins
Release 2013/ 2014

An intimate 6 year look at the lives and travails of 4 missionaries and how their work transforms them.
I didn't realise how much I loved 'Film' until working on, and then finishing this project.

...how it all started...
A small group of friends sat around a flat in Manhattan in 2006 completely baffled by the Christian-Muslim hatred that appeared to be unleashed across the world: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorist bombings everywhere.

We felt like awkward neutrals caught up in a medieval feud. What would it be like to live in truly neutral territory, outside the Western World, in Africa say, being courted by both Christian and Muslim militants? By missionaries in fact. And wouldn't that make an interesting document.

...an introduction to the missionary world...
Within weeks, we were introduced to a missionary organisation called Global Teams, based in Bakersfield California. They accepted to be filmed whilst hosting a missionary training seminar.

The missionaries-in-training were universally warm, accepting and open. Bishop Higgins' charisma led me to consider evangelical work in a new light; Vicki's and Jennifer's Southern hospitality and lonely warmth drew me into enduring friendships. It all seemed very normal apart from the constant reference to Jesus, a rather pronounced tendency to talk in Biblical riddles and then, gradually but constantly, the emergence of a theme of self-sacrifice and an apparent inclination to put themselves - and their family - in harm's way. Was this really in the name of God? Was it not human hubris? Were they all really flirting with martyrdom? Was it all words?

...Eerie tragedy strikes in Africa... 
Within a few weeks of this seminar, confused email news came through from Malawi of gruesome events in the life of one missionary, a member of Global Teams, a man by the name of Anthony Weston. I have almost always gone by the name Anthony West. It dawned on me quickly that through the ages and through England's colonial past, I must be connected to this distant man in some way. That curious but powerful bond buttressed my resolve to see this project through then, just as it still does now.

We soon travelled to Africa, following Vicki and Kevin on their missions in Muslim lands. We caught up with Jennifer, blossoming out of her Southern Baptist upbringing and met with Anthony Weston who detailed the destruction of his family  thereby lifting the confusion arising from foreign-language emailing.

...A long journey, few conclusions, many questions...
Over the following 5 years, our contributors were transformed by the unfolding events and ensuing questioning but also showed themselves to be avoidant at times. In all cases, the journeys they shared with us were extraordinary. The therapeutic power and confessional nature of the camera space led to many deeply felt moments and some bafflingly heartless ones.

Any conclusions from this adventure? Some for me, often different from the preconceptions we had all started out with. But I didnt want to end up with a film ridiculing faith, gawping at fervent missionaries and smearing the whole of Christianity with the abuse of hierarchical power that has dogged the church for centuries now. The questions raised by the size, complexity and often heterogeneous nature of the missionary movement suggest that this is an important topic, which warrants attention it is simply not getting, but which can't be dealt with in a simplistic way.
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