Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rose Mapendo

Yesterday this blog took note of a new film called "Pushing the Elephant," about Rose Mapendo and her unyielding efforts to find safe havens for refugees from the genocides of the Congo, the very genocides that nearly destroyed her and her family. In addition to exploring this immensely important public work, the film is a beautiful portrait of Rose and her 10 children. At the heart of the story is the homecoming of Rose's daughter Nangabire, who was separated from Rose and her 9 siblings for over a decade. How Nangabire finds it in her heart to forgive her oppressors, as her mother has done, and to put those "lost years" behind her is particularly moving. Watching Rose listen intently to Nangabire pour out her heart in sadness and anger is a monument to their relationship and to Rose's vigilant patience. Witnessing how much pain is associated with these "lost years" for both Rose and Nangabire brings even more troubling and saddening emotion to a viewing of this film. The film truly is a testament to the courage and resilience and love of this magnificent family.

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