In the 1980's churches and synagogues across the United States offered sanctuary to people fleeing civil wars in Central America in defiance of federal statutes, creating a unified act of civil disobedience which came to be called the Sanctuary Movement. Carl and Kathy Hersh, reporters who covered the devastating wars, produced a documentary about the movement, The New Underground Railroad. The film won numerous awards, was broadcast in six countries, was chosen by PBS as one of the most important documentaries aired in 1984.
Once again, faith communities, colleges and even entire cities are declaring themselves sanctuaries, in accordance with the ancient practice of giving safe refuge to people fleeing persecution and violence. The Hersh's documentary is as relevant now as it was more than 30 years ago.
"...filled with visual images that burn the story into the consciousness, almost making words unnecessary." (Miami Herald)
"...intense and dramatic." (WPBT)
"A sensitive, moving, and important piece of work." (Corporation for Public Broadcasting)