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Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffmann
Frances Reid & Deborah Hoffmann

"Long Night's Journey into Day"
Humanities Lecture Series

Thu., Feb. 21, 2002, 7:30pm
Location: Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union
Award-winning filmmakers Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffmann will address issues brought up by their documentary Long Night's Journey Into Day (2000). The film, nominated for this year's Academy Award for Best Documentary, reveals a South Africa trying to forge a lasting peace after 40 years of government by the most notorious system of racial segregation since Nazi Germany. The documentary studies South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), set up by the post-apartheid, democratic government to consider amnesty for perpetrators of crimes committed under apartheid's reign.

Shot over two and a half years during eight trips to South Africa, Long Night's Journey Into Day tracks the human drama of just a handful of the 10,000 requests for amnesty that came before the TRC. In exchange for absolute truth about their activities and human rights abuses, perpetrators could earn amnesty for the crimes they committed before Apartheid collapsed in 1994.

Long Night's Journey Into Day takes viewers to the hearings where murderers meet the surviving family members of their victims in four cases: the Amy Biehl Story, the Cradock 4, the Magoo's Bar Bombing and, the Guguletu 7.

The stories in the film underscore the universal themes of conflict, forgiveness, and renewal. A white special forces officer, deeply remorseful for the crimes he committed, struggles to reach peace with the embittered wife of a black activist he killed 14 years ago.

A group of mothers, after enduring years of misinformation and denials by the authorities, learns the truth about how their sons were set up, betrayed, and killed in a vicious police conspiracy.

A young black activist comes to recognize the anguish he caused by killing a white California student during a mob riot, while her parents see past their pain to embrace a new, multi-racial South Africa.

The TRC is raising some of the most profound moral and ethical questions facing the world today?questions about justice, truth, forgiveness, redemption, and the ability of brutalized and brutalizing individuals to subsequently co-exist in harmony.

As it emerges from its tragedy, South Africa is showing the rest of the world that even the most bitter of conflicts can be addressed through honesty and communication. Long Night's Journey Into Day is witness to history in the making.

Funded by the Sosland Foundation.


This event is free and open to the public.

February 21, 2002
7:30 p.m.
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union


Other related events:
Film Showing: Long Night's Journey into Day
Colloquium: "Making a Documentary"
Wk Su M T W Th F Sa

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