Saturday, December 30, 2006

Red Dust

I watched a pretty decent movie last night. Red Dust is a story is about South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission at work. I heard bits and pieces about the commission put together by Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu over the years, but never really understood what it was about nor did I have enough interest in it to find out. The commission was put in place in post-aparthied South Africa once a democratically elected black government was installed to facilitate racial healing. People charged with racially motivated criminal acts would not be punished if they totally come clean about their crimes. When someone is charged, that person can apply for amnesty. But the whole truth about crimes committed ust be told.

The main characters in this movie are a policeman charged with torture, his black victim turned politician, and a crusading white-lady lawyer on a mission (she was a teen dating a black man during 80's aparthied upheaval). Another young man's disappearance becomes the focus of the amnesty hearings. As more and more dirt on both sides comes out, the hearings become racially, politically, and religiously charged.

Philip Yancy mentions the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in his bookWhat's So Amazing About Grace. I was intrigued that politicians and government would be motivated to promote post-conflict truth-telling and forgiveness.

The movie is rated R for language and violence.

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