Stamford resident Jules Naudet took a leap of faith a few years ago and landed face to face with some of the world's most influential spiritual leaders. The Emmy Award-winning filmmaker recorded his conversations with them for a 2007 documentary that examines religion from a variety of perspectives.
Naudet will screen "In God's Name" at the Ferguson Library at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 16. A forum on "My Neighbor's Faith" will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 27 at the library. Both events are free and open to all.
"What we wanted was really to try and connect people. The idea came after the whole mosque at Ground Zero thing," Naudet said, referring to protests over plans for a Muslim community center near the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. "I didn't believe that was the way we should approach a true dialogue. There were a lot of misconceptions, fear and lack of understanding."
Naudet was at the World Trade Center during the attacks, working on a documentary about New York firefighters. He happened to capture the first destructive plane on film. Footage shot that day became the documentary "9/11," which aired on CBS-TV.
Like many, Naudet was introspective after the attacks. "It forced us to ask, 'Why am I here? What does it all mean?'" said Naudet, 37, a Paris native who came to the United States in 1989. After marrying in 2002, he and wife Jacqueline considered Stamford a good place to raise a family. They have two children, ages 5 and 7.
Naudet works with brother Gedeon, also a filmmaker. They tried to "go back to the basics" with "In God's Name," said Naudet. "One thing that unites all of us is the thirst for a higher meaning."
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