The Promised Land: Adventures in the Middle East at the Putnam Museum & Science Center -- March 27.

Tuesday, March 27, 2 & 6 p.m.

Putnam Museum & Science Center, 1717 West 12th Street, Davenport IA

In the latest big-screen event in its World Adventure Series, the Putnam Museum & Science Center will explore one of the most beautiful, contentious, and frequently misunderstood regions on Earth in the documentary The Promised Land: Adventures in the Middle East, its two March 27 screenings followed by Q&A sessions with the film's writer/director Rick Ray.

The Middle East is, and always has been, a region of paradoxes – a land where people go out of their way to make strangers feel at home, and a land where unspeakable acts of brutality are carried out between enemy tribes and clans. In The Promised Land: Adventures in the Middle East, filmmaker Ray takes audiences on a personal journey through Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, highlighting such astounding sights as Petra, Jerusalem, the Cedars of Lebanon, and Cappadocia. The movie also showcases the the wonders of these lands while Ray discusses their rich histories and cultures, as he will in the Putnam's post-screening presentations.

A former Lonely Planet backpacker turned cinematographer, writer/director Ray has produced more than a dozen educational films on regions as diverse as Israel, Bali, Borneo, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Syria, and Iceland, their titles including East African Safari, Raise the Bamboo Curtain with Martin Sheen, and the widely acclaimed The Soul of India. Beyond these projects, Ray spent two years tracking down rare archival footage of the Dalai Lama’s youth and the Chinese takeover of Tibet, documented subsequent hardships, and was granted a one-hour audience with the Dalai Lama to craft his award-winning documentary 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama.

The Promised Land: Adventures in the Middle East will be presented on March 27 at 2 and 6 p.m., admission is $7-8.50, and more information on the World Adventure Series and other museum programming is available by calling (563)324-1933 or visiting Putnam.org.

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