One balmy Rwandan afternoon in August of 2005, Laura Waters, then a master’s film student at American University, met Anglican Bishop John Rucyahana. Bishop John, a leading advocate of reconciliation in Rwanda, described a reconciliation project he had established that seemed radical and, frankly, unreal. Ex-prisoners were building homes for those who not only survived the genocide, but the family members of those they killed. Laura’s interest was peaked as she imagined a film that could capture for Western viewers the profound message communicated by genocide survivors and perpetrators who are reconciling and living together again as neighbors. Laura spent the next ten months raising money from family and friends, and the following summer, she returned with a small crew of student filmmakers to accomplish one goal: to test the claim that genuine reconciliation was occurring in Rwanda. The result is As We Forgive.
A Filmaker Finds Her Thesis Site Administrator