Why I optioned Margaret Visser’s “The Geometry of Love”
I almost never have a radio on while I’m working so it was only by some serendipitous chance that one the day I should turn one on, it would be an interview with Margaret Visser that I should hear and it would be her new book “The Geometry of Love, Space, Time, Mystery and Meaning in an Ordinary Church” as the topic.
The idea of a building reflecting the human spiritual journey resonated with me, but especially the heart of this narrative: the story of a 13-year-old girl whose sacrifice change the world, this resonated very deeply with me as a Baha’i that brought the ancient past to the present.
The Baha’i Faith is just 150 years in existence. Its followers are heavily persecuted in Iran. Many were executed during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, but it was the execution of a 16-year-old girl, Mona, whose death shook the world, that galvanized international pressure on Iran to stop the wanton slaughter of Baha’is. The parallel between the current situation for Iranian Baha’is made the story of Agnes moved me deeply. I went out and bought the book.
Then I read the New York Times review which lamented the absence of photographs to supplement the passionate depiction of this beautiful church. That’s when I thought, “I can take care of that!” The rights were optioned shortly thereafter.
Filming “The Geometry of Love” remains one of the most memorable working experiences I have had. It was a special privilege to share the free reign in that church with such extraordinary scholars, crew, and such good company. And then, to have such a beautiful film come from it – this was truly a great gift.
Thank you, Paul, for all the gifts you brought us.
With limitless love, Bev
“The Geometry of Love”, a transformative project
I feel I should start where I began - in documentaries.
The camera is a powerful tool to connect with people and nowhere is this more true than in documentaries. The camera is a backstage pass to the world.
I met, and learned from, so many incredible people shooting docs. There are times when I miss the intimate connection to the camera, subject and material that documentary shooting provides.
This project, The Geometry of Love, was particularly transformative. It finds the depth of meaning in a seemingly ordinary church - St Agnese in Rome. To be in Rome and Toronto with Margaret Visser, who possesses a beautifully curious mind, as our guide was a life-altering experience. I learned so much about that world and, in the process, about myself. Not only that but Margaret took me to see the Caravaggios! (more on that later).
Immense gratitude to producers Bev Bliss and Colin Neale, Director Paul Carvalho and soundman/interpreter Frank Russo for a truly once in a lifetime experience. Shot on the Panasonic Varicam HDX900.
I should also thank the many other documentarians from whom I learned so much: David Schultz, Kathy Archibald, Michelle Wong, Susan Cardinal, Joel Stewart, David Christensen, Paul Jay and many others.
Craig Wrobleski, asc, csc
Director of Photography