‘The Window in the Wall’ is a planned feature-length documentary film about the extraordinary stories of ordinary people, and their efforts to create windows in the physical and internal walls that divide them in Northern Ireland.
By Jean Kling, Tanner Kling and Maria Garvey
Fourteen years after the Good Friday Peace Agreement was signed in Northern Ireland and a complete and unequivocal ceasefire was established, many communities are still working to heal old wounds and learn how to live together as neighbors. Signs of hope and progress abound. At the same time, long-time divisions remain – most visibly in the more than 100 “peace walls” that separate Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods.
In this dynamic environment, inspiring and creative efforts are underway to bring together people of different backgrounds who have long feared and even hated one another. There are breathtaking stories of courage, compassion, forgiveness, and redemption.
The Window in the Wall is a planned feature-length documentary film about the extraordinary stories of ordinary people, and their efforts to create windows in the physical and internal walls that divide them.
What will you see in the film?
The film will combine verite footage of people in Northern Ireland who are reaching across barriers to make amends, build new relationships, and create shared spaces with significant interviews that provide both local and international, “expert” and “everyman” perspectives on Northern Ireland and the universal questions that surround forgiveness and reconciliation.
While the documentary won’t in any way ignore the reality of the divisions that are still to be bridged, we also want to document and celebrate the windows that people on both sides are creating in the physical and the internal walls that divide them.
We are interested in the stories of artists and musicians who are creating new murals on the peace walls and songs of unity that convey hope for the future…Those ex-combatants who destroyed neighborhoods during ‘The Troubles’ and are now rebuilding them and standing for peace…Courageous visionaries who want to take the desolate areas between walls and create shared spaces where former enemies can grow together around “wee cups of tea” and the stories that unite them…And many, many more!
As we chronicle the process of building peace, we also hope to capture its current existence – in the tiny but powerful acts of love and courage that often go unnoticed, or in the moments of beauty that are already present in our everyday lives.
The footage you see is from just one week of filming last January. We have barely scratched the surface and can’t wait to uncover and share the incredible stories of courage, compassion, forgiveness, and hope that are waiting to be told.
What can this film achieve?
“I hope that people from other parts of the world can look at this film and say, if they can do it, perhaps we can do it too.”
– Tony Macaulay, author and peacebuilding consultant, Northern Ireland
The Window in the Wall is a conduit for revealing the essence of peace and helping us understand how to bring down barriers within and between people wherever they are throughout the world, one window at a time. We hope it can help point the way to reconciliation for individuals and communities around the world, and illustrate that each and every one of us, from all walks of life, backgrounds and capacities, can be an agent of peace.
There is no human life without its moments of despondency and conflict. Sometimes in the bleakest moments we despair of ever finding a way through. The Window in the Wall is a story of an entire people who are finding a way through. It is dedicated to all those around the world who keep on keeping on when there is no hope.