Could you forgive a person who murdered your family? Could you live with them in the same neighborhood? This is the question faced by the survivors of the brutal 1994 Rwandan genocide. 
    The Church of Apostles in Hope Mills will host the film As We Forgive on Wednesday, June 11 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the Cameo Art House Theatre in downtown Fayetteville. The 54-minute documentary is a 2008 finalist in the Student Academy Awards and is narrated by Mia Farrow. The film’s mission is to expose people across America to the untold story of Africa with the intention of inspiring a wider discussion of the need for reconciliation in our personal lives, institutions and government.  
    {mosimage}The movie revolves around the journey of two women whose families were murdered in the 1994 genocide. The prison systems in Rwanda were overcrowded and there were so many cases that the government chose to release more than 50,000 prisoners back into the community. The women were forced to live in the village with the people who were responsible for killing their families.       
    “The documentary tracks their stories of forgiveness and reconciliation,” said Leigh Ross, director of mission development at The Church of The Apostles. “One woman’s killer really tries to show his remorse by helping build her a home.”
Ross added that the film captures how the people are trying to live after the genocide.
    The filmmaker, Laura Waters Hinson, was engaged in a conversation with Anglican Bishop John Rucyahana and he described a project that seemed unreal.
    “Wilson’s interest was peaked as she imagined a film that could capture the profound message communicated by genocide survivors and perpetrators who are reconciling and living together as neighbors,” said Ross. “Wilson returned to Rwanda with a small crew of student filmmakers and friends to witness the claim that reconciliation was happening.”
    Ross added that Hinson interviewed women and families in the community. 
    Rwanda is a very poor country located in east-central Africa. In 1994, more than 1 million people were killed during a 100-day rampage. Throughout the genocide, Tutsi women were often mutilated, raped and tortured before they were murdered. The genocide created a generation of orphans. 
    The film is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. Fair trade Rwandan coffee will be sold during the event as a means to stimulate the Rwandan economy.  
    “We invite everyone to come and view the documentary,” said Ross. 
    For information, call 425-2561.

Contact Shanessa Fenner at

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