Crossing Frontiers – A Documentary Featuring the Life of Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum

Crossing Frontiers is a documentary on the life of Hand of the Cause of God Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, who was also the wife of Shoghi Effendi. The film explores the frontiers Ruhiyyih Khanum had crossed in her travels to over 185 countries, where she gave countless lectures, met many leading dignitaries, and was interviewed by the press throughout the world, continually promoting the essential teachings of the Baha’i Faith.

Produced by Badiyan Productions in 1997, Baha’i Blog was graciously given the rights to publish Crossing Frontiers on our YouTube channel, and this historical gem of a documentary offers rare footage and interviews with Hand of the Cause of God Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum.

Fred Badiyan

Badiyan Productions are also known for their wonderful The Hands of the Cause documentary series, and Fred Badiyan of Badiyan Productions also happens to be my great uncle. His life of dedicated service to the Baha’i Faith through the medium of film and media had a profound impact on me personally, and it has served as an inspiration and catalyst in my personal pursuit of using media to serve the Faith. I caught up with Fred Badiyan to find out more about this film, and here’s what he shared:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us what the film is about?

Crossing Frontiers is a film that features a glimpse into the life and travels of Hand of the Cause of God Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum. We wanted to explore some of the many frontiers she had crossed in her travels to the 185 countries or more she had visited, while always promoting the essential teachings of the Baha’i Faith everywhere she went.

Baha’i Blog: What was the inspiration behind the film and why did you decide to make it?

My inspiration came because of the request from the Universal House of Justice to make this film. The life of Ruhiyyih Khanum was full of adventure throughout her travels in South America and throughout the world, and this was in and of itself quite inspirational.

Baha’i Blog: You were blessed to have met Ruhiyyih Khanum, and also spend time with her. Can you share with us any memories of Ruhiyyih Khanum from behind-the-scenes which touched you?

I had the honor to work with Ruhiyyih Khanum on several film projects and had a very good working relationship with her. Ruhiyyih Khanum loved people and I was fortunate that she trusted me to work with her on those projects. She was very direct and said it as is, and she explained everything in detail. She often told me that the result of a good interview depends on the questions asked.

When I went to Haifa, Ruhiyyih Khanum gave me permission to go through all her personal photo albums. Many of those pictures were used in the film. Also, I interviewed Ruhiyyih Khanum at the Master’s House. One of the fond memories that I had was when we were filming her by the Shrine of the Bab. She became tired and asked some of the staff to bring her some goodies. Her favorite was pecan pie. We all sat in the garden and had pecan pie and tea together. It was wonderful.

Baha’i Blog: What do you hope people will walk away with after watching the film?

I hope that the viewer is inspired by the life of Ruhiyyih Khanum and her service to the Baha’i Faith.

Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, Fred dear, and a very special thank you to you and the team behind Badiyan Productions for making this historical documentary and for allowing Baha’i Blog to publish it on our YouTube channel.

You can watch ‘Crossing Frontiers’ below:

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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