In Aug. 2001, Ann Feldman set out to make a documentary on woman and sacred music that could cross among religious groups. Feldman, who had a career as a Cantoral soloist, reached out to dozens of spiritual leaders from around the world, but connecting to the Muslim community was difficult for her at first.
“They were questioning me, but then Sept. 11 happened and no one asked me why I was doing it again,” Feldman told Patch. “I was fortunate to be ahead of the curve because I had built these partnerships and was able to use media to bring people together.”
The film, Ties that Bind, eventually changed direction from sacred music to examining the role female religious figures played in developing interfaith relationships. Feldman gathered the wives of prominent Chicagoland religious leaders and, at one point, had the women stay together for 24 hours in a church.
"They got to spend 24 uninterrupted hours together and got a chance to ask each other about their fears and stereotypes," she said. “They got long-term friendships. . . they really got to hear their voices heard on an international level."
In the 10 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Feldman said she’s seen these kinds of religious partnerships proliferate.
“If there are partnerships in place, then there’s a system to work through problems—that’s the advantage we have today.”
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