Moravian and Indian history featured in new film at the Dietrich Theater

For Abington Journal | March 8th, 2016 3:08 pm

TUNKHANNOCK — Local history will be center stage at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13, when a free showing of the film “David Zeisberger: Apostle of the Indians,” will be featured at the Dietrich Theater.

A question and answer session will follow the movie with Katherine Faull, Moravian scholar and professor at Bucknell University, and Craig Atwood, professor of the Moravian Seminary in Bethleham and director of the Center for Moravian Studies. Both Faull and Atwood appear in the film, discussing different aspects of Zeiberger’s life.

Tickets will be available at the door or can be reserved by calling the Dietrich Theater at 570-996-1500.

“David Zeisberger: Apostle of the Indians” is a 52-minute documentary produced in 2015 on location in Pennsylvania and Ohio, featuring the famous Moravian missionary, David Zeisberger.

Zeisberger was a native of Suchdol nad Odrou in the present day Czech Republic but spent most of his life working as a Moravian missionary to the North American Indians of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The documentary film, produced by Czech film company VistaFilm, covers 60 years of his life as he labored with the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) in mission sites, such as Shamokin (present-day Sunbury) and Friedenshütten (Wyalusing). A fascinating and authoritative glimpse into the lives of Europeans, Native Americans, and early settlers in this corner of the world during the colonial period, the film tells a story about the area’s history that is not often heard.

The movie was made for Czech Public TV to acquaint Czechoslovakians with this man who is “much better known in America than in our country,” according to director Lubos Hlavas. In post-Communist Czechoslovakia, religion was forbidden. Now Hlavsa seeks to teach all about the amazing Zeisberger who founded mission towns for Christianized Indians in the Tuscarawas Valley in the 1770s.

A portrait of David Zeisberger. portrait of David Zeisberger. Submitted artwork

For Abington Journal

Information provided by the Dietrich Theater.