THE ideas and accomplishments of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science are the subject of ``Mary Baker Eddy: A Heart in Protest,'' an award-winning film, having its television debut Sunday (8-9 p.m., E.T.) on cable's Discovery Channel. Academy Award winner Robert Duvall is the narrator, and actress Julie Harris provides the oral interpretation of Mrs. Eddy's own words. The film traces her lifelong protest against the inevitability of human suffering and her conviction that the healing works of Christ Jesus and his disciples illustrated a universally applicable science.
Assessing Mrs. Eddy's life are a number of 20th-century commentators, including Dr. Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago's Divinity School, women-studies scholar Jean McDonald, playwright Horton Foote, and Eddy biographer Robert Peel.
Mrs. Eddy (1821-1910) published a religious textbook, established and led an international church, and started an influential daily newspaper at a time when women in America did not even have the right to vote. From the very start, her ideas were controversial, and the documentary encompasses the views of critics as well as supporters.
``Mary Baker Eddy: A Heart in Protest'' was written by Christopher Wagstaff and produced by Northern Light Productions, with funding from The First Church of Christ, Scientist. It has won awards from the International Film and Television Festival of New York, the National Educational Film and Video Festival, and the US Film and TV Festival.