The Sunstone Film Festival will feature a retrospective screening of the documentary film Faith of an Observer: Conversations with Hugh Nibley. The movie will show in the Union Theater in the University of Utah Olpin Student Center on Saturday, August 2, at 2:00. Following the screening there will be a discussion on the making of the film with two of the filmmakers involved, Sterling VanWagenen and Hugh’s son Alex Nibley.
Faith of an Observer was shot in 1983-84 in Egypt, France and various locations in the United States. It includes excerpts from several extensive interviews Nibley did conducted by Sterling and Alex along with supplementary interviews with Hugh’s family members, friends and associates including Elder Neal A. Maxwell and Truman Madsen.
Alex Nibley said, “I wanted to make this movie because from an early age I saw that the public knew my father as either a writer or a public speaker, and neither of those personae represented the man I knew. I wanted to get Dad to speak on camera the way he talked in private and present that man to the world, because I found him much more interesting than the lecturer or the writer. To some extent, I think we succeeded; the Hugh Nibley you see in Faith of an Observer is more open, more relaxed and show a side of him the public rarely saw.”
The interviews cover a wide range of topics including education, ancient scripture, war, and the corrupting influence of a single-minded focus on making money. The conversations took place not only in a studio, but also in ancient Egyptian temples, the Cairo Museum, and Utah Beach where Hugh landed on D-Day.
Hugh Nibley was not an easy interview, and it was no small task getting Hugh to open up on camera. The story of how that happened and the special “wildlife photography” tactics Sterling and Alex used to get these unusual interviews will be part of the discussion following the screening.
Contact Sunstone for more information.