Filmmaker and Holocaust Survivor, Pierre Sauvage, to show documentary at Asbury

Pierre Sauvage will show his award-winning documentary, Weapons of the Spirit, on Asbury’s campus on Thursday, Oct, 20th.

At the conclusion of the film, Pierre will field questions from the audience. Afterward, Pierre will be featured at a fireside chat with the AUHP students at Asbury guesthouse, Windsor Manor.

Here is a brief description I wrote for to help our AUHP students understand the unique nature of this documentary:

This film is not a typical holocaust documentary. It does situate itself within the larger holocaust story, but it gets particular – it dives deep into the specifics of the people in this rather unique community. While it tells the story of what happened there, it also opens up deep questions as to why this community, in contrast with so many other communities who also fell under the control of the Nazis and their insistence on the extraction and “resettlement” of the local Jewish population, who then willingly gave them up – why this community acted so bravely and so uniformly in welcoming them and harboring them, in educating their children and sharing with them their meager resources, at great risk to oneself and one’s family and the larger community. In the waning months of the war, our guest, Pierre Sauvage, was born in Le Chambon, while his parents were being protected by the people there. Next Thursday evening he will show his 90 min. film and then answer questions.

Here is an excerpt of another description I wrote to serve as an introduction to the film:

Now, just a word or two about this film. Yes, it will be uplifting and encouraging – to see people of sincere Christian faith respond with moral clarity and ease of conviction in the face of real physical danger; to act in accordance with the central Christian claim that everyone has been made in God’s image and, as a result, are of immeasurable value to Him, and thus to anyone else who seeks to be a Jesus follower. This is a story of a community of Christians acting as a Christian community should act.

But there is a terrible double-edge to this sword – and it cuts both ways. This story is largely an exception. For so much of the rest of Christianized Europe did not respond as they should have. Any accurate summations of this holocaust narrative must recognize that those claiming the name of Christ were well represented amongst the bystanders and yes, even found amongst the perpetrators as well. Of course, there were Christian victims, of course this was a time of incredible peril, of uncertainty and distrust between neighbors and even within families. But the same hope within us that draws us to admire the people of Le Chambon must also be aggrieved by and ashamed of the behavior of other Christians, both individuals and communities. This story, at best, shows us that much more could have been done but wasn’t. And at worst, this story presents us with the heart-stopping possibility that would the people of the cross acted in accordance with the teachings of Jesus, there might never have been a holocaust. This story serves as a documented and powerful counterpoint to both of the defensive claims that Christian Europe still tells itself: 1) we didn’t know, and 2) there was nothing we could have done.

The Miller Screening Room seats 120. The event will not be ticketed.

[A previous fireside chat at Windsor Manor.] AUHP students will be able to interact with Pierre Sauvage at a similar event following the all-campus showing of the film.