Easter is setting in and the Genocide mourning period is also beginning in Rwanda. More films have been made on the issue of forgiveness and this has raised numerous questions on my part.
Do films and stories make forgiveness look too easy? Does reconciliation happen too quickly in fantasies like Field of Dreams? Surely the complexities of Civil War are glossed over in Glory.
Hollywood movies often feel too simple, too easy, and too pat. A grueling picture will conclude in a convenient manner that fails to imitate real life. Sometimes movie magic really disappoints us.
This is not the case with the characters in “As We Forgive.” It begins with a horrific, historic event—the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Yet, it doesn’t gloss over what happened. We see the grim realities and meet both the perpetrators and the victims.
It is real, messy, and chaotic. I’m so glad that Chantal had difficulty facing the man who murdered her family.
How can she summon the courage to sit down with someone who took so much from her? And where will she find the grace to forgive him?
Lent is a season and prime opportunity to meditate upon our failings and prepare for resurrection day. At least 40 days are needed to figure out where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and how we might straighten out our future.
We are reminded that the distance between life and death is never as great as we imagine, and the pain of the genocide, remains fresh and palpable for most of us here.
Through respect and understanding we can all unite and reconcile despite the pain.