For the last four years I have been traveling to Poso back and forth to capture what she worked so hard for, which gave me intimate access to her life and story. At first, I thought it was her personal story that would be the main topic of the film. I was frightened she would die of her injuries and illnesses, and it captured my attention for the first two years. When she was able to get the life and leg saving surgeries she needed, I was elated to see her take her school and movement to new heights I could have never imagined. With two legs, what more could she do? Turns out, a lot!
Along the way, as we both grew along with the expansion of the school and interfaith movement, I began to realize that this was simply too big of a story about the school and the fantastic women involved in it to not make that the center of this film. But it was never clear at the time that this film was going to have a happy ending. Would they get the funding they needed? Could Lian take groups of impoverished and traumatized women from across a huge area of remote Indonesia, and turn them not only into peacemakers, but agents of change for a better Indonesia? Or would Poso collapse back into violence?
When we got notice that she would be flying to New York with the chance of winning the Coexist Prize, I knew the redeeming moment for both of us had come. I could never have imagined how well it all would turn out. Since then, it has been nothing but good news. I struggled to decide where to end this film because so many new events kept on happening. In truth, there is no end to this social movement, and I can only hope to capture a few years of it and show what I can of it with the budget I had.
I am so grateful for Lian giving me the access to her life and story and for all of the people of Poso who have been so kind and welcoming to me over the years. It has truly been a transformational and humbling experience for everyone involved.