My Journey Through War and Peace:
Explorations of a Young Filmmaker, Feminist, and Spiritual Seeker

by Melissa Burch



Mosaic Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1-771-61177-0.
Reviewed by Khadijah A.
Posted on 11/02/2016

Nonfiction: Memoir

Melissa Burch's story in this book is a journey of several layers. The first is that of her experiences filming the mujahideen in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of that country. Thrown into an alien and largely male environment, Burch pushes her limits both physically and emotionally and finds resources in herself that she had been unaware of. The second layer is her struggle to accept herself as she is, while working to create and live an authentic life in which she is capable of change. This part of her journey is both outward, as she explores her sexuality and her relationship with her parents, and inward, as she discovers a spiritual path that allows her to grow and pursue paths that she previously would not have been able to follow.

Burch's story is unique yet universal, touching the part of all of us that struggles for self-understanding as well as a feeling of security in who we are and where we function in society. I was impressed by how clearly she presents the character of her younger self in a realistic, sympathetic manner. The book is well-written, doing justice to both journeys, the inner and the outer.


Melissa Burch has worked as a filmmaker for CBS and the BBC, was featured in The New York Times, produced a national public television series, co-hosted a radio show on Voice America, and has been a spiritual seeker for over thirty years. She was the executive producer of "Women in Limbo Presents," a national public television series about women's lives, and served as president of the New York Film/Video Council. She is the author of The Four Methods of Journal Writing: Finding Yourself Through Memoir and co-founded the Catalyst School of Homeopathy. Visit her website.

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