Sam Schuder met Shaleem Edwards when the two were teenagers in Oakland, California. In 2010, Sam and his brother Ben traveled to Israel to visit Shaleem in his hometown of Dimona in the Negev desert where they discovered the Village of Peace, a thriving community of about 5,000 persons who refer to themselves as African-Hebrew Israelites. Filmmakers Ben Schuder and Niko Philipides take us inside the village to hear the stories of four of its founders as they describe their epic two-year journey to Israel from Chicago in 1967. As observers and participants in the Civil Rights Movement, they took the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “mountaintop” speech quite literally and embarked upon an exodus that would lead them to the Promised Land that King envisioned. Inspired by the teachings of the Torah and the desire to live life in its purest form, they have mandated a life that includes polygamy, natural birth, veganism and a rigorous adherence to physical and emotional health.
Bay Area Premiere