Synopsis by Mark Deming
In Northern Ireland, factionalism between Catholics and Protestants has been a subject of contention and violence (and an unfortunate way of life) for many years. The lines of cultural division are established early on -- children attend Catholic or Protestant schools, helping to insure that even in their youth, the two sides rarely meet on neutral ground and come to know each other as people. In 1993, a group of Belfast citizens decided that it was time to put prejudices aside in the interest of peace and bring together a new generation of children; they opened the Cranmore Integrated Primary School, which educates Protestant and Catholic youth side by side. Opening the school was an uphill battle, as the Irish government refuses to sanction integrated schools, and Cranmore faced opposition from leaders on both sides. However, with the announcement of the IRA's cease fire in 1994 and renewed negotiations to bring a lasting and workable peace to Northern Ireland, the school began to look less like a pipe dream and more like part of a practical long-term solution to the nation's problems. Irish-American filmmakers Jennifer McShane and Tricia Regan traveled to Belfast and documented the struggle to create Cranmore Integrated Primary School. A Leap of Faith is the record of the school's troubled first year. Liam Neeson narrates.
family, prejudice, violence, war