At a time when religious hatred dominates the world’s headlines, Sacred offers a vibrant collage of traditions and rituals shot by 40 different filmmaking teams around the world. In so doing, the film seeks to explore faith as a primary human experience and how it is used to navigate the milestones and crises of private life. Opening with a young Muslim father from Cairo chanting the call to prayer to his baby who is only minutes old, the film’s approach is both lyrical and linear as it drives forward in time from the initiations of infancy to coming of age ceremonies, featuring boys and girls at the cusp of adolescence and then arcing through marriage and the trials of adulthood through to the rites by which we remember and honor our dead.

Sacred is a fascinating cinematic experiment: a sweeping global film for which the director, Academy Award®-winner Thomas Lennon, never once left his office in New York. Sweeping in its global reach, yet intensely intimate, the film is a tour de force that unifies these disparate scenes into a single work, told without narration, without experts and, for long stretches, without words at all.