Monday, May 18, 2009

"As We Forgive"--worth a look

It's hard to imagine the kind of horror that went on during the tragic slaughter in Rwanda in 1994. Bad enough to lose a family member; worse to see them killed. But to have former friends and neighbors taking an active--even gleeful--part in the killing, and knowing you might be next, while talk radio eggs on the perpetrators...unimaginable.

This film looks at the alternative to revenge and lifelong hatred. Sometimes it takes the worst-case scenario to show us that the principles of forgiveness and reconciliation are not just lofty ideals we hear about at church, but vital tools of spiritual survival.

From the website of "As We Forgive," playing at the Belcourt in Nashville this Thursday at 8pm:


Could you forgive a person who murdered your family? This is the question faced by the subjects of As We Forgive, a documentary about Rosaria and Chantal—two Rwandan women coming face-to-face with the men who slaughtered their families during the 1994 genocide. The subjects of As We Forgive speak for a nation still wracked by the grief of a genocide that killed one in eight Rwandans in 1994. Overwhelmed by an enormous backlog of court cases, the government has returned over 50,000 genocide perpetrators back to the very communities they helped to destroy. Without the hope of full justice, Rwanda has turned to a new solution: Reconciliation.

But can it be done? Can survivors truly forgive the killers who destroyed their families? Can the government expect this from its people? And can the church, which failed at moral leadership during the genocide, fit into the process of reconciliation today? In As We Forgive, director Laura Waters Hinson and narrator Mia Farrow explore these topics through the lives of four neighbors once caught in opposite tides of a genocidal bloodbath, and their extraordinary journey from death to life through forgiveness.

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