Beyond Right and Wrong

Beyond Right and Wrong

The second film in A New View Film Series, “Beyond Right and Wrong,” told the stories of individuals and families who have survived tragic losses in the violent conflicts that have occurred in Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine, and Rwanda. However, going beyond merely telling their stories, “Beyond Right and Wrong” attempts to answer the difficult questions of whether or not it is possible to forgive people who have committed atrocities against one’s family and if justice or revenge are the correct answer.


The Desmond Tutu Center held this event on Thursday, October 22nd at 6:30pm in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, located adjacent to Robertson Hall. Following the film, independent film producer and film festival consultant, Louise Henderson, led a thought-provoking discussion regarding these issues with a diverse audience from Butler University, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and members of the Indianapolis community.

The first two individuals featured in the film lived in Northern Ireland in the midst of ‘The Troubles.’ Jo Berry was a young girl and the daughter of a prominent member of the conservative party. Patrick Magee, or the ‘Brighton Bomber,’ as he was nicknamed, was part of the IRA and was responsible for the death of Jo’s father when she was young. As an adult, Jo never took a stance of anger or vengefulness against Patrick; rather she sought him out and listened to his reasoning behind the bombing. Today, Patrick and Jo give speeches together about repentance and forgiveness.

The next story focused around one Israeli family and one Palestinian family who had each lost a child due to the violence. Through this unspeakable tragedy, the audience saw, regardless of what side one is on, the loss of a child is an unbearable one. However, when asked, one of the fathers who had lost his daughter stated that, “revenge was not an option.” He felt it was his duty to promote peace to ensure that no other parents had to endure a loss similar to his.

The final conflict covered in “Beyond Right and Wrong,” was the Rwandan Genocide and the story of Beata and Emmanuel, who now live near each other. Beata was the mother of five who lost all five of her children in the Ntarama church massacre. Emmanuel was responsible for the deaths of Beata’s children in Ntarama church. However, in the time that followed, Emmanuel became remorseful and began asking for forgiveness from Beata. In this incredible story, Beata shows the potential that the human spirit has for forgiveness.


Louise Henderson leading a discussion about the film.The remainder of the film covered shorter stories from these three areas of conflict, and the audience gained a comprehensive view of these struggles from both perpetrators and victims. Following the film, there was a lively discussion, moderated by Louise Henderson, regarding the themes and controversial aspects of the movie. One prominent topic during this discussion was the connection between the topics in this film and the Civil Rights Movement in America in the 1960’s. Several audience members lived through the Civil Rights Era and thus were personally affected by it.  They discussed the struggle they had with anger, justice, and forgiveness with other members of their community. Overall, many audience members concluded that finding forgiveness internally was of utmost importance to them.

By: Caroline Whang

A New View Film Series is Presented and Facilitated by the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation and Global Justice, The Center for Interfaith Cooperation, Butler University’s Amnesty International and The Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University.

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