Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Painful grace: As We Forgive the movie

Over the past few days/months/years have been struggling with the idea of God's radical and irrational love and grace for us. That may sound silly, how can grace or love ever be the cause for strife?

Forgiveness involves sin, failure, pride, humility, and selflessness. These are not easy things.
Giving as well as receiving grace can be an intensely difficult, even painful thing and people respond to forgiveness in unpredictable ways. There are times when you will be ridiculed or even chastised for extending love and forgiveness to the undeserving. There will also be times when you will be the one chastising others for forgiving.

Love, grace, forgiveness, and justice. These are not simple matters. But we must believe that love covers a multitude of sins and that our God truly is the father of mercies.

Film is one of my favorite artistic mediums. So I was incredibly excited when I heard about As We Forgive, an independent documentary film by Laura Waters Hinson which portrays this kind of radical messy forgiveness through the lives of those effected by the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
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.
-- Synopsis from 

I haven't yet seen this film yet but I am very excited to do so. You can purchase DVDs for $15 here. I believe is still offering exhibition screening opportunities if you would like a more theatrical experience.

If you have seen the film already I would love to hear your thoughts! Even if you haven't seen it, I would still love to hear your thoughts about forgiveness.

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