The movie ‘The Peace Tree’ was an exceptional piece of work on diversity and unity between cultures. As an experienced educator, I have dedicated the past 16 years of my career to teaching children from diverse backgrounds. This movie’s appeal is its real-to-life story line of two young girls who are best friends from different cultural backgrounds with the desire to explore each other's world and celebrate with each other despite the resistance from their parents.
The strongest message that appealed to my heart is its demonstration of the pure beauty of children bridging the cultural gap through their innocence and natural curiosity, and teaching the adults that being more open minded permits the world to be a friendly sharing place without losing one's own identity. The director brilliantly shares the importance behind the traditions of the individual celebrations that gives us insight into the both cultures. A subtle significance of the similarities within both the Christian and Muslim family household is cleverly conveyed to the audience making it an A +. This film is a timely piece!!!
Lana Cromwell, Educator and Member of the Adult Jury at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
We watched The Peace Tree with family and close friends today and we all thought it was a wonderful film. You have once again shown how to see complex social problems and cultural prejudice from the point of view of innocent children, for whom it's all very simple. The script, the cinematography, the colours and music are all wonderful. It was the first time, I heard Jingle Bells on Sitar! The acting and direction is superb. I am sure you will receive many acclaims and awards, which will be well deserved.
Dr. Khursheed Ahmed, McMaster University
The Peace Tree captures the paradoxes of a multi- faith society with absolute ingenuity and sensitivity. All of this is presented with the charm and adventure of internationally acclaimed films like Majidi's 'Children of Heaven.' Through the magical voice of children, Mitra Sen's film pushes an essential dialogue too often dismissed by societal fears of venturing into unconventional but very real issues around religion. With vibrancy, innocence and a brilliant story, Sen successfully portrays a timely dilemma which is truly universal - one that actually promotes unique solutions towards harmony and peace amongst all human beings. The ramifications of this tale on real society will be pivotal to the movement toward social change. This is an important film because dialogue amongst parents and their children, children with other children, and of course parents to parents are bound to be touched.
Zaiba Beg, Elementary School Teacher
My five year old daughter and I caught, The Peace Tree, movie by surprise this year on CBC, Christmas Day. As an individual of Muslim upbringing, who has lived in Canada all my life, the movie moved me with how beautifully it captured my personal struggles growing up. I found myself crying and laughing throughout the entire movie. The script was very touching and spoke to many issues I had experienced as a young person. The costumes were wonderful. I will, for the first time, have a Peace Tree in my home next December.
Thank you for eloquently showing Muslims and Christians that we can all celebrate each others' holidays and create a society of peace, acceptance and tolerance for all people. Bravo on this production!
Karima Kassam, Parent
The Peace Tree is a wonderful film that sensitively and accurately portrays the conflicted feelings experienced by children from minority religions or racialized groups, particularly at holiday time in schools and neighbourhoods. It is a must-see for parents, students and teachers alike, leaving viewers with a sense of hope and optimism for the future -- as well as some great ideas for home and classroom!
Dr. Karen Mock, Human
Rights and Equity Educator
The success of The Peace Tree is remarkable not just as a film, but as a clear strong message of peace and hope. It’s clear from its success at many film festivals, that The Peace Tree’s message is truly universal, however it has particular relevance in Ontario. If there ever were an ideal place to come up with the idea of a Peace Tree, it would be here. I think the story of the Peace Tree really symbolizes the promise Canada holds for many immigrant families – the promise of a society with different religions, cultures and origins are an inspiration to all citizens where the tolerance and openness fostered by our diversity creates hope for all to come. It is no surprise to me that The Peace Trees message has resonated so powerfully, that it has created Peace
Trees in schools all over the world. A story of children working together sharing their cultural and religious celebrations and in doing so creating harmony and peace is a great story. The Peace Tree tells that story so well and is a testament to all of those involved in creating it. I offer my congratulations to everyone who took part in the production of the film.
The Honourable Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community
Safety and Correctional Services
The Peace Tree is a strong film which teaches children about the culture and faith of others and the need to understand each other. The portrayal of the two families is captured in a most sensitive way and the need for our families to be more open-minded and to learn about one another. It serves as a mirror in
which we can see ourselves and decide if we like what we see or not. It also presents opportunities to open dialogue with community groups of parents. This film is a quest for future peace and harmony, and who better to ensure this than our young people! Once again, congratulations on an excellent work which, like Just a Little Red Dot, will be here for many years to educate others.
Vivian Singh, Prinicpal, Garthwood P.S. Peel
District School Board
The Peace Tree is a beautiful, poignant film that celebrates diversity while advocating unity and understanding among religions and cultures. The film should be required viewing in schools across North America and indeed the world.
Anjali Bannerjee, Author