July 1, 2008

Rebuilding the Hearts of People

I like this bit from a recent post on Roger Ebert's blog:  
One of the most prolific and intelligent contributors to the comments section of the blog is Soloman Wakeling. I wrote in curiosity, asking to know more about him. He replied that he is a 24-year-old law student from Australia, and that one of his problems is, "I read too many books." There was one thing he said that I felt I needed to write about in the blog: "I find your work is filled with an essentially humanitarian philosophy, dealing with concepts like redemption."

The first half of his statement I hope is true. The second part is certainly true. Let us set aside all of the films that are essentially entertainments (although they have their uses and pleasures, too). I am thinking now about the remaining titles, which deal seriously with human lives. The ones that affect me most deeply are the ones in which characters overcome something within themselves or the world, and endure.
It brought to mind two films that I've been tracking in hopes of seeing them at some point.  Both are set in Rwanda and deal forcibly with the events surrounding and emerging from the genocide of the mid 90's.  The first is a film about revenge and the second is a documentary about forgiveness, yet the both seem to be ultimately about the search for redemption.

Here is the trailer for Munyurangabo:  


And here is the trailer for the short documentary As We Forgive:



I think the lessons of Rwanda will become more, and not less, important in the future.  The people of Rwanda have much to teach us and I am glad that these film makers are giving them a voice. 

1 comment:

Pomeroy Kinsey said...

Great posts from Ebert. That is also why I love him so much.

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