Beyond Belief


I took Punkin’ Pie out of school the other day so that she could accompany me to a screening of Beyond Belief.

The film is a documentary about two women from the Boston area who lost their husbands in the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, and who chose to use that experience to try to change the world, one woman at a time.

The widows, Patti Quigley and Susan Retik, decided to focus their energy and resources on their widowed counterparts in Afghanistan.  The women learned that the suffering of Afghani widows is compounded by the strict social structure of the culture, and that they often have so very little that even the smallest thing, by our standards, can make an enormous difference in someone’s life.  They chose to offer those small things, and their hearts, in an effort to counter some of the profound suffering visited upon Afghani women and children.

Quigley and Retik founded Beyond the 11th, a foundation that raises funds – and awareness – in an effort to directly affect the lives of widows and their children in Afghanistan.  The film follows them through several years of organization, fund raising, and ultimately through a visit to the war-ravaged country to meet some of the beneficiaries of their efforts.

The movie was profoundly moving (I’ve written a post with my personal reactions to the film here).  It’s entirely appropriate for any age level (Punkin’ Pie is in sixth grade, and she kept right up with the film and the discussion with Ms. Retik and the high school group after the film), and I think that its message of hope (however guarded that hope may be given the current political and social situation, both here and in Afghanistan) is an important one.

The film is available on Netflix.  I recommend adding it to your queue.


2 Responses to “Beyond Belief”

  1. Kizz Says:

    I have added it to my queue. Thanks for the rec. It sounds like a wonderful project.

  2. ciboulette Says:

    It sounds amazing.

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