Sunday, July 06, 2008

As we forgive

Over at Get Religion, great coverage of a piece in the Washington Post about a new movie, that explores forgiveness in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Here's the WaPo story itself: Acts of Reconciliation: A student filmmaker turns her lens on Rwanda and finds a personal truth reflected back at her.
In the film we meet Rosaria, who pulls up the hem of her dress to reveal mounds of raised scar tissue running down her legs. Hacked and beaten during the genocide, she now lives in a house built for her by Saveri, the man who killed her sister. Another survivor, Chantale, who lost 30 family members, meets John, the stooped gangly man who killed her father. He can't face her; her eyes are embers. "Remember all your old neighbors," she says. Yet the next day, Chantale begins working to build a house for another ex-con who confessed his crimes.
The student filmmakers, Laura Hinson, is Episcopalian. One can view the trailer online at the film's website. The DVD is available for purchase for $24.95. The story is amazing and powerful.

On the same theme, Paulist Productions has recently come out with "The Big Question." [However, the opening page doesn't have any links at all, at least in Firefox! Here's some more details from the Paulist Production page. No info on screenings or DVDs.]

And reading the WaPo piece I'm reminded of the story of Sister Rani Maria, who was brutally murdered in central India in 1995: she was dragged out of a bus, and stabbed over 40 times, in broad daylight. Her sister, also a religious of the same congregation (the Claretian Franciscans), forgave her sister's murderer, visited him in prison and accepted him symbolically as a brother by tying a "rakhi" around his wrist. Her killer was eventually released, visited his victim's family in Kerala, who publicly forgave him, and, several years later was baptized. He now works as a missionary.

Asianews article on the fruits of Sr. Rani Maria's martyrdom.
Blog post at Sulekha.com (a major Indian portal) on the transformation of Sr. Rani Maria's killer.

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