Neighborhood resident Allen Mondell’s new movie Waging peace: The Peace Corps Experience premieres June 21 at the James M. Collins Center at Southern Methodist University.

Allen Mondell is one half of an accomplished East Dallas filmmaking couple. His wife, Cynthia Salzman Mondell is the creative force behind “Sole Sisters“. Allen and Cynthia both worked on the one of my faves, “A Fair to Remember“, a documentary about the Texas State Fair and the fascinating history surrounding it. Allen recently worked with his 38-year-old daughter Fonya Naomi Mondell on a documentary about Henderson Avenue. Point is, the Mondells have an impressive movie-making resume.

This one, inspired by Allen’s two years teaching in West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, interweaves letters, journals, blog entries and emails written by volunteers while in their host countries. “The writing will capture the broad range of observations and feelings while on the job,” say promoters of the movie. Subjects address such issues and situations as adjusting to a new culture, customs, jobs, crime, education, food, contributions, health, humor, politics, sexism, war, reflections and culture shock.

“Co-presented by The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the North Texas Peace Corps Association, Southern Methodist University’s Office of the Provost and Media Projects, Inc., WAGING PEACE: The Peace Corp Experience honors and celebrates the tradition of volunteerism and public service in the United States,” promoters note.

The premier starts at 6:15 p.m. with a reception catered by Gil’s Elegant Catering. The screening, followed by a panel discussion, begins at 7 p.m. The Center is located at 3150 Binkley Avenue with free parking in the garage across the street.

Tickets are $30 and are available at A portion of the proceeds from the film will benefit Peace Corps Partnerships projects around the world.

Why is it so important to support the Peace Corps? Says the moviemaker, “One of the most important legacies of President John F. Kennedy was the Peace Corps. His desire was to involve Americans more actively in the causes of peace, world development, and freedom. Since 1961, more than 200,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have spent two years away from home in 139 countries, sharing their skills with others. Not only did they change the lives of those they served, the volunteers themselves were forever changed and went one step further – addressing the needs in their local communities today.”

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