The beloved biography seen on more than 330 PBS Stations across the U.S.
The inspirational documentary with sold-out audiences at the National Cathedral, UNESCO Universal Forum of Cultures, Festival of Sufi Culture in Fes, National Museum in Prague, Parliament of the World's Religions Launch, Santa Fe Film Festival, etc. Embraced by numerous Centers for Spiritual Living and Unity Churches, as well at interfaith conferences. Enjoyed on college and university campuses and in libraries across the nation.
--Rev. Mark Gilbert, New Dawn Center for Spiritual Living, Aurora, CO
Does an 800 year old mystic hold the secret to world peace?
Our film biography of the 13th century spiritual genius uses these words of his to presage the fascinating story of his life and great love that transcended chaos, conflict, and even death.
“The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.”
Using the Sufi metaphor of the love story as the paradigm for our love story with our Source and Creator, whom he called his “Beloved,” Rumi has recently become endeared to the West as he has been in the Muslim East for centuries. There children memorize couplets of his poetry as a game, and adults revere him as “The Sultan of Lovers.”As the premier translator of Rumi into English, Coleman Barks says at the outset of “RUMI RETURNING": “He is probably the only planetary poet we have.”
Our Inspiration for "RUMI RETURNING"
With UNESCO’s designation of 2007 as the “International Year of Rumi,” the time had come for the unique, unitive vision he offers our planet to be explored in all of its expansive, ecstatic truth and beauty. That is what Director Kell Kearns and I offer you in “RUMI RETURNING”. We have married the amazing images Kearns filmed on our journeys to Turkey with Rumi’s permanently astonishing words, moving Sufi music (the reed flute played by Turkish masters), and ethereal Iranian song (Azam Ali, Niyaz).
"Listen to the reed
and the tale it tells.
How it sings of separation.
'Ever since they cut me from the reed bed,
my wail has caused men and women to weep.
Whoever has been separated from his source
longs to return to that state of union.'"
These were the first lines that Rumi wrote for what became his six-book masterpiece, the Mathnawi. These and thousands of odes were written in middle aged in a a state of grief transcended after he had lost his great teacher and heart companion, Shams of Tabriz (Iran). In "RUMI RETURNING," we show how Rumi's life is a triumph over separation and longing, illusion and limitation. We show how it is a metaphor for our own lives. His journey to wisdom and compassion and joy becomes our own. Although he was born more than 800 years ago (September 30, 2007), Rumi's story is divinely relevant to us today.
"A remarkable documentary. Our world is hungry--perhaps starved--for Rumi's timeless messages of unlimited tolerance, goodness, charity and awareness through love."
--Canon John Peterson, National Cathedral, Washington, D. C.