Luminous Journey: A New Film about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Trip to North America, 1912—Now Available on DVD and Soon on Blu-ray

Luminous Journey: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912, a feature-length documentary film (150 minutes) produced by Anne Perry, a Wilmette Institute faculty member, and Tim Perry, an independent producer/director, is now available in breathtaking high definition. 

The film opens with short segments that capture the essence of the United States in 1912, alive with promise, and with an introduction to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. Then we travel with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá through his arduous 239 day trip across the United States and Canada.  This is a new kind of trip in which its extent comes alive in a way that adds layers of meaning and understanding to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s trip and His message. One viewer, Roland Maddela, said that “It was like I was traveling, too, with the Master and felt the excitement on His arrival in every city and the sadness when He left.”

But the focus is not only on the trip. Co-producer and writer Anne Perry had this to say in a press release for a showing of the film in Lincoln, Nebraska (one of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s stops):

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s journey to North America is larger than anyone can express. “He examined the roots of war: suspicion, prejudice, nationalism, greed,” . . . “He gave us a new vision of human interaction so that we could envision world peace. He saw racial prejudice and taught interracial love and amity. He saw the right to vote as the vehicle to push the U.S. forward in terms of new teachings of gender partnership, equality, and respect. And he called us to embrace the unity of religion—and to balance the spiritual with the material aspects of civilization.”

Jalaliyyih Quinn, another viewer of the film, noted how many professions that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá blessed: “painting, photography, filmmaking, journalism, and all of the sciences.”

Filmed in twenty-four location-based segments, Luminous Journey features:

  • Dramatic and engaging re-enactments of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s travels throughout North America
  • Eye-witness accounts of the encounters with the beloved Master presented by exceptional actors and voice-over talent
  • Stunning details captured on film at the many locations that the Master visited
  • Period accuracy including beautiful period costumes and props
  • Numerous rarely seen and professionally restored photographs of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
  • Actual film footage of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá taken in 1912 (its use was approved by the
    National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States)
  •  An original orchestral score by Lisa Haese Smith, recorded by studio musicians in Los Angeles
  • Additional music by Afshin Toufighian, Anna Hostman, Enayat Ziaie, John Ebata, Luke Slott, Ravand Samaeekia, and Smith & Dragoman
  • Special features, including a trailer and an extensive photo slide show detailing the behind-the-scenes making of the film.

A CD of the musical soundtrack of Luminous Journey is also available. It runs 47.19 minutes and contains 15 tracks.

The film is available from the Bahá’í Distribution Service and from in a standard DVD format and by the end of October in a Blu-ray format. The CD of the soundtrack for the film can be purchased in several formats: MP3, CD; and single tracks.

Luminous Journey is a must-have for individuals, families, communities, Ruhi classes, and Bahá’í schools. The themes can be tied to the Ruhi book, No. 8 and to youth, race unity, gender equality, peace, and America’s spiritual journey. The soundtrack of Luminous Journey is perfect for devotionals and Feasts.

Anne Perry, a Wilmette Institute faculty member, has a Ph.D. in aesthetics studies and the humanities and teaches at the Art Institute of Dallas. She served as the film’s researcher and primary writer, co-producer, casting agent, and production coordinator. Tim Perry is a producer/director, videographer, and editor, who created or oversaw all of the visual and audio elements of the film.