A documentary film aimed at encouraging peaceful dialogue and conflict resolution is coming to Oklahoma next week.
The film, “333,” focuses on ideas put forth in a set of manuscripts from the medieval University of Timbuktu in Mali. Included in the manuscripts are centuries-old ideas on peaceful conflict resolution through understanding and forgiveness.
The documentary will be screened next week at Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma City Community College.
“You're going to find that your thought processes are stimulated,” said Michael Covitt, the film's producer. “You're going to see a part of Africa rarely seen in modern times.”
The film takes its title from Timbuktu's nickname, “The City of 333 Saints.” Between the 12th and 16th centuries, trade in salt, gold and slaves made the kingdom of Mali a global center of wealth and education, said Covitt, the founder and chairman of the Malian Manuscripts Foundation.
Scholars came from as far away as Turkey, Persia and Portugal to study at Mali's University of Timbuktu, he said, and many of those scholars stayed and wrote their own manuscripts in nearly every discipline imaginable.
Among those manuscripts are ideas on forgiveness, understanding and resolving conflict peacefully, he said.