Laura Waters: Rwanda, genocide and forgiveness

Filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson went to Rwanda with a chilling question: is it possible to forgive the person who killed your family? Hear the stories of reconciliation she found while making “As We Forgive,” which documents how confessed murderers and genocide survivors are partnering to rebuild Rwanda. see video

 From Bobbie Johnson at the Pop!Tech Blog:

The film follows two Rwandan women who get the chance to face the people who killed their loved ones during the 1994 genocide - a common real-world occurrence after the government released tens of thousands of killers back into their communities as the prison system buckled under the volume of cases.

People were forced to forgive and to reconcile… because otherwise what do you do?

One project has led to repentant killers building homes as restitution for the damage they caused - “taking the hands that were used to kill, and using them to heal”.

There are so many, in fact, that they don’t have enough tools to help the construction effort, so she is part of an organisation called “Living Brick” which allows people to donate materials.

But why do survivors choose to forgive? Some decide because of their faith; some decide because it’s pragmatic to live without violence and with stability. Not everyone is forgiving - but it’s a growing movement. And if people can do that - isn’t there hope for the rest of us?