I first learned about Medjugorje back in the early 80s when I worked as a director/cameraman at the local ABC television affiliate. I hate to admit it but I was really jaded after hearing about the sun spinning, rosaries turning gold and the Blessed Mother’s apparitions from two reporters who covered the story back then. I honestly thought they were a bit crazy and blew it off as just another sensationalized report to get ratings.
Over the years I never thought much about Medjugorje, much less making a pilgrimage there, until earlier this year when I was approached with the idea of filming a documentary. At first I was resistant until I learned that a very special pilgrimage was being made by close to 50 young people, some of whom were only making the journey to keep their parents off of their backs. What really cinched the deal for me was when I was told that the trip would be completely paid for and that I could bring my son along to work as my soundman.
I decided early on that I didn’t want to make another religious film about the history of Medjugorje and the story of the visionaries. That story had been told many times before and I was looking for something fresh that would appeal to a mainstream audience. To my surprise the executive producers of the film, the people who were paying my way and sponsoring the pilgrimage, agreed with me and gave me total creative control on the project. That was the single most important factor in why I agreed to make this film because it allowed me to capture the story through fresh eyes of someone making the journey for the very first time. Since I had no agenda and allowed the story to come to me rather than forcing things, I was able to capture some of the most magical moments of my career. The interviews with the kids are spontaneous, unrehearsed and natural. What stands out to me is that the film is honest, sometimes painfully honest, and I learned a lot about myself and my son that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I very much look forward to the worldwide distribution of The Sojourners.
All the best,