New Film about Dorothy Day Streaming at PBS.org
A new documentary by Martin Doblmeier and Journey Films, REVOLUTION OF THE HEART: The Dorothy Day Story profiles one of the most extraordinary and courageous women in American history—one who is being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church, but who famously said, “Don’t call me a saint, I don’t want to be dismissed that easily.” Realist and radical, Day was both a typical grandmother and a self-described anarchist who once made the FBI’s watch list as a “dangerous American.” Revolution of the Heart is the story of one of the greatest champions of the poor America has ever known. It began airing on public television stations in March 2020, for Women’s History Month, and is streaming at https://www.pbs.org/video/revolution-of-the-heart-the-dorothy-day-story-lwz697/. It’s also available on DVD.
As a journalist, Dorothy Day covered workers’ rights and child labor. As an activist, she protested war and nuclear arms. Attracted to Communism as a young woman, she believed it was a way to improve people’s lives. She marched in support of women’s suffrage and was jailed and beaten.
After the birth of her daughter, she converted to Catholicism, and found Christianity to be an even more radical path. “If you take the Lord’s words, you’ll find they are pretty rigorous,” Day says in archival footage included in the film. “The Sermon on the Mount may be read with great enjoyment, but when it comes to practicing it, is really is an examination of conscience to see how far we go.”
Day was co-founder (along with Peter Maurin) of the Catholic Worker Movement that began as a newspaper to expose rampant injustices during the Great Depression. It soon expanded to become a network of houses of hospitality to welcome the poor and destitute. Now nearly a century after they began, the number of Catholic Worker houses continues to grow and the newspaper is still speaking truth to power.
Over the years, Dorothy Day developed her understanding of how to follow the biblical challenge to be “peacemakers” by resisting all forms of military intervention. She protested America’s involvement in World War II and was severely criticized. Arrested multiple times for protesting America’s nuclear buildup, she also led nationwide resistance against the war in Vietnam.
REVOLUTION OF THE HEART includes rare archival photographs and film footage plus interviews with Dorothy Day’s granddaughters, writer Kate Hennessey and activist Martha Hennessey, actor/activist Martin Sheen, public theologian Cornel West, bestselling author Joan Chittister, Jim Wallis of Sojourners and many others. Excerpts from Day’s autobiography, The Long Loneliness, are read in the film by Susan Sarandon.
ABOUT JOURNEY FILMS
Journey Films was founded in 1983 by award-winning filmmaker Martin Doblmeier as a television and film production company specializing in religion, faith and spirituality. Journey Films has produced more than 30 documentary films that have aired on PBS, ABC, NBC, the BBC and on broadcast outlets around the world, including BONHOEFFER, The Power of Forgiveness, An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story, and most recently, Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story. Journey’s films have been translated into more than a dozen languages. In all, Journey Films have won three regional Emmy Awards, eight Gabriel Awards for the nation’s best film on a topic of religion, three Gold Awards at the US International Film and Television Festival, the Sun Valley Film Festival and many others.
ABOUT MARTIN DOBLMEIER
Martin holds degrees in Religious Studies, Broadcast Journalism and three honorary degrees in Fine Arts and Humane Letters. Since 1984 he has produced and directed more than 30 films focused on religion, faith and spirituality. Martin combines a lifelong interest in religion with a passion for storytelling. Over the years he has traveled on location to more than forty countries to profile numerous religious leaders, spiritual communities, heads of state and Nobel Laureates. His films explore how belief can lead individuals to extraordinary acts, how spirituality creates and sustains communities and how faith is lived in extraordinary ways.