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Fambul Tok (2010)

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Studio: First Run Features
Genre: Documentary, Political & Social Issues
Running Time: 82 min.

Synopsis
The family tree bends, but it does not break.

Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war come together for the first time in an unprecedented program of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. Through reviving their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grass-roots level - succeeding where the international community's post-conflict efforts failed.

We are present in the most intimate of moments - at the bonfire where a rape victim tells her story and pulls her perpetrator out of the crowd to hear his confession and apology; at the dramatic meeting between to previous best friends, the first time they have spoken in 17 years, when a haunted man admits to killing his friend's father; on the country-wide search for a native son who killed 17 members of his own clan, so he could return and apologize for what he has done.

Filled with lessons for the West, this film explores the depths of a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals - and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.




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