Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fambul Tok

             Recently, I spent a day quite under the weather. Being a normal human being, I amused myself with documentaries. Now, it is a widely understood fact that the search for a decent documentary (one that has the perfect balance of education and entertainment) can be a tiresome task. As I searched through the lists of the "life-changing", "shocking", and "taboo", I finally came across a documentary called Fambul Tok.
              Fambul Tok follows an organization as they attempt to bring reconciliation to communities following the Sierra Leone's civil war. Most NGOs attempt to provide aid to communities such as these through handouts, putting a bandaid over a gaping wound. Fambul Tok  approaches this reconciliation through conversation and forgiveness. Watching this documentary, and these people's ability to forgive things so heinous as torture, rape, and murder made me acknowledge that I do not have a good grasp on forgiveness. Fambul Tok means "Family Talk", and that's exactly what this is; war-stricken communities prepared to drop all hard feelings and intense grudges in order to once again become families. Now, it is important to note that a blanket of amnesty was granted to all those who committed war crimes, meaning that none of them could be convicted or punished for their cruel dudes on a legal level. For this reason communities became divided, as the criminals lived freely among the people they had wronged.          

           Do you believe that this is an effective way to resolve problems? Or is justice not served until the accused (rapists, murderers, abusers) have paid their dues? Is the guilt they live with not enough?


Gabriella Loosle


  1. I think that even if a war is was going on while the crimes were committed they should still be charged. Even during war these things are inexcusable. If we let people get away with it, then more people will commit these crimes, knowing they will get away with it.

  2. I agree with kelly, these types of crimes cannot be forgiven. People who have done these unforgivable crimes should pay the price.

  3. I will not say that criminals should not be punished. But I have to say that I like the way this organizations works because it encourages people to forgive. "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you", said Lewis Smedes. And it is true. To forgive helps you and those around you in a lot of ways.