Documentaries

'Apocalypse Now?'

ABC TV Compass - 23 November 2008

Are we facing the end of the world? American Pentecostal Pastor Ron Weinland believes he has been sent by God to announce the end of the world in 3 years time! He believes the end times are imminent, and he's not alone. Four experts examine and comment on his claims.

'Aunty Joan Goes to Venice'

ABC TV Compass - 5 July 2009

A story about Australian indigenous identity and faith on the world stage. Joan Hendricks is an Aboriginal elder from Moreton Island off Brisbane. She travels to Venice for a major interfaith gathering, "Spirit of Religion". There she meets some of the leading religious thinkers of our era who are grappling with one of the biggest questions of our time: peace between faiths.

'Bishop of the Universe'

ABC TV Compass - 16 November 2008

Catholic Bishop Chris Toohey's western NSW diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is the size of France and in the grip of deep drought. Bishop Toohey chairs Catholic Earthcare. He's also an accomplished astronomer and often spends his nights scanning the skies from his home-built observatory. It's a fascination that began when he was a boy. Through these activities he has built up a profound cosmology based on science, yet at the same time finding God in creation. This is a portrait of an intriguing man of the cloth, exploring his insights into the cosmos.

'Chasing the Blake'

ABC TV Compass - 1 June 2008

God's artists have traditionally worked with images of the crucifix or Mary, or created golden Buddhas and Arabic calligraphy. Australia's Blake Prize for Religious Art was established in 1951 to push the boundaries of contemporary religious art. This program follows four contemporary artists as they prepare for and enter the Blake Prize.

'Carrying the Cross'

ABC TV Compass - 6 April 2008

For 12 months in 2007 and 2008, six young Australian Catholics travelled around the country armed with a large wooden cross. Their mission was as old as the first apostles': to draw people to God and World Youth Day. We join the pilgrims for one leg of their odyssey, from the Twelve Apostles on the Victorian coast to the outback plains of Hay in western NSW. We witness the ups and downs of the cross's journey, and ask whether it has the power to transform young hearts and minds, and bring them into the church.

'Young Carers'

ABC TV Compass - 7 October 2007

"To mark Carer's Week, this documentary introduces the hidden generation of young carers who are looking after sick and disabled parents or siblings, kids like Hayley Wilson. She has been looking after her parents since she was eight and is now 16."

'William Dalrymple: Bridge Builder'

ABC TV Compas - 30 September 2007

"Best-selling British author and documentary presenter William Dalrymple is a bridge builder between East and West. The Scottish-born son of a Baronet divides his life between India and the UK, and is particularly insightful about Islam, and a more fruitful engagement with Muslims."

'The Quiet Revolution Episode 3: Global Networks'

ABC TV Compass - 29 July 2007

This series looks at the quiet revolution in global religion, the advent of new and deep interaction among the world's great faiths. This episode traces the birth of the international interfaith movement at the Chicago World Fair in 1893 and the activities of its various offshoots today. The Parliament of World Religions, The Peace Council and The Global Ethic Foundation are all working for religious harmony, equality and peace at grass roots and the highest levels of international politics. (There is a book version of this documentary series)

'The Quiet Revolution Part 2: Pioneering City'

ABC TV Compass - 22 July 2007

"This series looks at the quiet revolution in global religion, the advent of new and deep interaction among the world's great faiths. This episode looks at New York, the most globalised, multi-religious metropolis on Earth. 9/11 made it an icon of terrorism. But could it be a symbol of the opposite? New York is home to the emerging interfaith movement ... it's where 'faith sharing' is working. Amid the turmoil of our era could this community of eight million people offer hope for a different kind of future? (There is a book version of this documentary series)"

'The Quiet Revolution Part 1: New Prophets'

ABC TV Compass - 15 July 2007

"This series looks at the quiet revolution in global religion, the advent of new and deep interaction among the world's great faiths. This first episode introduces four 'quiet revolutionaries'. Their religious credentials are beyond question yet they are turning traditional modes of belief upside down. Former Catholic priest Paul Knitter, Christian-Buddhist Professor Chung Hyun Kyung, renowned religious scholar Raimon Panikkar and one of the world's new Interfaith ministers Stephanie Dowrick. They argue the turmoil of our era could be the stimulus for a new beginning in religious thinking. (There is a book version of this documentary series)"

'Fly-on-the-Wall Messiah'

ABC TV Compass Christmas Eve Special - 24 December 2006

"This program follows a number of key participants as they rehearse and prepare to sing in Handel's Messiah at Sydney Town Hall. It's often said that Christmas is too commercialised, that it's lost its spirit. These people are putting spirit and a sense of community back into Christmas, and their performance raises money for charity. A look behind the scenes to sample the unexpected results when ordinary people sing this great choral work."

'The Sacred Architect'

ABC TV Compass - 17 December 2006

"In the early 20th Century eccentric English priest, John Cyril Hawes, designed and built scores of beautiful churches in the far flung Geraldton diocese in Western Australia. He is now becoming recognised as a world class architect of sacred buildings, and there is a rediscovery and new appreciation of his work. This documentary tells his story, and reveals the beauty of many of his amazing buildings."

'Islam in Indonesia Part 2: The Conservatives'

ABC TV Compass - 12 November 2006

"In Indonesia a struggle is underway between conservative and progressive Muslims to influence government policy and win the hearts and minds of the people. Part Two of this series introduces firebrand cleric, Habib Rizieq, founder of the radical Islamic Defenders Front which is at the forefront of the conservative Muslim revival in Indonesia."

'Islam in Indonesia Part 1: The Progressives'

ABC TV Compass - 5 November 2006

"In this two-part special Geraldine Doogue travels to our near neighbour, the world's most populous Muslim country, where a battle is underway for the hearts and minds of believers. Part One focuses on progressive Muslim leaders as they try to counter extremism, fundamentalism and a general swing to the right amongst Muslims, in a bid to promote an open, tolerant and pluralist version of their faith. She meets former president, Abdurrahman Wahid who is one of the leading progressive Muslim voices in Indonesia."

'Gallipoli Pilgrimage'

ABC TV Compass - 23 April 2006

This documentary follows the journey of four Australians making the Gallipoli pilgrimage for the 90th Anniversary of the landing. Their reasons for going are different and yet all have a common goal - to experience the place that created the Anzac legend on that fateful shore and to acknowledge the growing importance of Gallipoli as a symbol of our national identity.

'The Prophet of Redfern'

ABC TV Compass - 14 April 2006

"A portrait of Father Ted Kennedy: this maverick priest who passed away in 2005 was regarded as a prophet in his inner city Sydney parish, particularly by Aboriginal people. Family, friends and collaborators reflect on the qualities of this amazing man, and appraise the ongoing legacy of his important work. "

'In Search of a Miracle'

ABC TV Compass - 7 August 2005

"In 1995, six year old David was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He had major surgery, followed by various other therapies. But his parents and supporters also prayed to Mary MacKillop, and he was cured. This program follows the efforts of the Josephite nuns to get his cure recognised as an official miracle to prove Mary's sainthood. It raises profound questions about Catholic faith and saintmaking in the 21st century: are miraculous cures still possible? In this scientific age, can modern medicine explain all cures? Should the Church abandon its requirement for miracles in making saints?"

'Vipassana Meditation Retreat'

ABC TV Compass - 20 February 2005

"While Insight Meditation (Vipassana) is one of Theravada Buddhism's most important traditional spiritual techniques, it is a non-sectarian technique which can help people of any or no religion. Over a ten-day intensive course, this documentary follows three new students of Vipassana as they learn a simple but profound technique of self-observation brings significant personal transformation."

'The Australian Chamber Orchestra: Last Words'

ABC TV Compass - 28 November 2004

The Australian Chamber Orchestra performs a new piece inspired by the Last Words of Christ on the Cross. It's a fresh, and very Australian take on an age-old spiritual story. While this is not the first time the last words from the cross have been used as inspiration for music, this new work involved a very unusual collaboration. Commissioned by Richard Tognetti, composer George Lentz joins forces with some of Australia's best known actors and writers, people like Jack Thompson, Michael Leunig, David Williamson, Dorothy Porter and Thomas Kenneally.

'Downshifting'

ABC TV Compass - 22 February 2004

"Over the last decade 23% of Australians have chosen to ""downshift"" to a simpler lifestyle on less income. This documentary introduces people who have engaged in this quiet revolution to reject a frantic consumerist life."

'Tomorrow's Islam'

ABC TV Compass - 26 October 2003

"Geraldine Doogue travels to the USA, Britain, France, Switzerland and Turkey to search for the true meaning of Islam in the modern world. She talks with key thinkers from across the globe who express their tradition and faith in innovative ways. The program's focus is on leading leaders and intellectuals living in the West who are trying to find a constructive way forward. They're pioneers in what might be tomorrow's Islam. Runner-up Award in Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development World TV Awards (There is a book version of this documentary) "

'Yoga'

ABC TV Compass - 29 June 2003

"Till recent times on the fringe in Western society, the ancient practice of yoga has now moved mainstream, and can be found in many workplaces, community centres, and gyms. For 4000 years in India yoga has brought health and peace to its practitioners. In the West the emphasis is on physical yoga, so called Hatha yoga, but there's a multitude of types or schools. This documentary looks at some of the main schools, and introduces people in this country who are yoga teachers and devotees."

'Sea of Faith'

ABC TV Compass - 23 March 2003

"This documentary introduces the Sea of Faith Network, an association of radical progressive Christians which is at the vanguard of momentous change in religion. In particular, they have a scathing critique of fundamentalism, seeing it as a retreat from modern life, a sign of decay in religion. For religion to have a future, they say it needs to engage contemporary thinking, to reinvent itself in the light of the latest in science, psychology, and philosophy."

'Christian Meditation'

ABC TV Compass - 20 October 2002

"Is there such a thing as Christian meditation? This program looks at a practice long associated with Eastern religions, which is regaining popularity as a form of Christian prayer. It introduces Benedictine monk, Laurence Freeman, who is head of the World Community for Christian Meditation."

'Secular Soul Part 3: Atheists'

ABC TV Compass - 7 July 2002

"The 'Secular Soul' series examines changing patterns of belief in Australia. This third part introduces people who have no place for God in their lives and beliefs. We meet four prominent Australian atheists: ethicist Peter Singer, geologist Ian Plimer, retired politician Diana Warnock and author of 'Godless Gospel' Dick Gross."

'Secular Soul Part 2: Ceremonies'

ABC TV Compass - 30 June 2002

"The 'Secular Soul' series examines changing patterns of belief in Australia. This second part examines the trend towards Civil Celebrants presiding over ceremonies, as more people abandon formal religions. "

'Secular Soul Part 1: Spiritual Market Place'

ABC TV Compass - 23 June 2002

"The 'Secular Soul' series examines changing patterns of belief in Australia. Part 1 looks at the decline of institutional Christianity coupled with increased secularisation. Ironically, alongside this decline of organised religion, diverse beliefs are held as strongly as ever, and there's an explosion of alternative spiritual beliefs and practices."

'Corporate Collapse'

ABC TV Compass - 10 March 2002

"Following the collapse of several large Australian corporations, using the sudden demise of Ansett airline as a case study, this documentary explores the human effect of sudden job loss on the lives of ordinary workers. "

'A Blaming and Claiming Society'

ABC TV Compass - 25 November 2001

This program looks at ethical issues raised by a social trend that worries many people - the rise in litigation and other claims for damages.

'Seachanges'

ABC TV Compass - 26 August 2001

"Most people at some time in their lives have the urge to break out and change their place of residence, or their job, or their lifestyle, to something completely different, more meaningful for themselves or for others. This program profiles four people who have made just such a seachange."

'Health, Illness, Body and Soul'"

ABC TV Compass - 15 July 2001

Can spirituality affect your health? This program looks at the renewed interest in the role of religion in coping with sickness.

'The Enigma of Falun Gong'

ABC TV Compass - 22 April 2001

"Profile of the Australian branch of the controversial Chinese spiritual movement, Falun Gong - a practice combining elements of Buddhism, Taoism and martial arts - that has fallen foul of the Chinese government. "

'Priestly Crisis'

ABC TV Compass - 1 April 2001

"This documentary is based on a controversial book, ""The Changing Face of the Priesthood"", by American psychologist and Seminary rector Fr Donald Cozzens. In it he challenges the Roman Catholic Church to look squarely at the issues which are causing a crisis of numbers in the priesthood. In particular he cites a culture in the seminaries, which sees a disproportionate number of homosexually oriented candidates, as well as promoting immaturity and providing a lack of feminine role models."