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?