Benedictine professor's friend won award
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
There are no comments. Click here to start the discussion.
Print friendly version
iPod friendly version
Today's Top Headlines
'Life goes on' amid crisis
English-only amendment sparks heated debate
Teen takes love of flying to new heights
Political Notebook: Danforth group looks to combat voter fraud
Witnesses testify against shaken baby syndrome
ATCHISON, Kan. — An idea occurred to filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson a few years ago while in Africa, an idea that has since garnered her an Academy Award.
Ms. Hinson dropped in to Benedictine College on Monday for a screening of her film, "As We Forgive." College roommate Dr. Carrie Coward Bucher, a sociology professor at Benedictine, convinced her to bring her film, which won a 2008 Student Academy Award and several other kudos at film festivals, to campus. About 100 students attended the screening and the question-and-answer session following.
During a 2005 church trip to Rwanda, Ms. Hinson was shocked to learn that 50,000 Hutus convicted, accused or admitting to murder during the 1994 genocide of more than 1 million Tutsis were being released from prison.
The release prompted a reconciliation program launched by the Rwandan government to ease the tension between the murderers and the survivors, who are now living together in the same neighborhoods where their families were slaughtered.
"This (idea) challenged me as a Christian," Ms. Hinson said.
Returning home to Washington, D.C., she spent the next year raising $20,000 to produce a documentary. She returned to Rwanda in 2006 and spent a month filming two women who met with the killers of their families as part of the reconciliation program. Chantale, who meets with John, the man who hacked her father to death with a machete, is slow to forgive. Her meeting with him is particularly tense and provides some of the more captivating scenes of the film.
"It puts into perspective our own lives," she said, adding that Americans have a problem forgiving someone who "runs over a bush in our front yard."
Narration in the film is provided by Hollywood actress and international activist Mia Farrow, who called Ms. Hinson asking if she could be a part of the project.
Ms. Hinson will spend the next six months taking her film to screenings throughout the United States. She said she hopes the film creates a "greater conversation on the power of reconciliation." The experience also has helped shape her as a filmmaker in that she intends to get involved in projects focusing on redemption.
Dr. Bucher, Ms. Hinson's undergraduate roommate at Furman University in South Carolina, introduced Ms. Hinson Monday at the O'Malley-McAllister Auditorium.
"None of this surprises me," she said of her former roommate's success.
Jimmy Myers can be reached
P.O. Box 3867
Skype ID : Kayisa66