A young man walks up to a woman in a Rwandan village and confesses to killing her children, and then, he asks for forgiveness.
The woman, Beata, had lost her five children to a mass genocide in 1994, and the film “Beyond Right or Wrong” traces the journey of people like her in war-torn areas like Rwanda, Israel-Palestine and Northern Ireland.
Seven years in the making, the film is a collection of conversations between people who have committed murder, genocide or terrorism and their victims. The film was screened in the ATEC Building lecture hall on April 30.
The screening ended with a Q&A session with director Lekha Singh where she discussed forgiveness, restorative justice and ongoing conflicts in Syria and Mali.
While making the movie, Singh approached victims from different countries that have lost loved ones to war or genocide. They wanted to speak to her about their personal experience of loss and reconciliation with the perpetrators who caused their loss.
Singh has lived in Dallas for over thirty years and chose UTD as one of the universities to reach out to students because she believes they have the highest chance of making an impact in their respective communities when they graduate.
“As a large organization with many new students, it was a great opportunity to enlighten our members by watching the movie and also become aware of the new scholarship opportunities,” Aditya Desai, the joint secretary of the Indian Student’s Association, said.
At the end of the screening, Singh announced her plans to award five $1,000 scholarships to UTD students if they submitted essays on the topics presented in the movie.
A strong belief in the positive impact students can make has led her foundations to fund the building of schools around the globe, while supporting many charity organizations such as ConnecTeach, an international non-profit outreach program.
Bhavani Parpia, the president of ConnecTeach and long time teacher, has known Singh for 25 years and vividly remembers her friend’s passion toward helping people.
“She is so incredibly diverse in her activities as a writer, as a photographer, as a filmmaker, philanthropist and activist, and yet she is one of the most grounded people I know,” Parpia said.
For every 1,000 views that go toward a charity, Filmraise, which hosts the movie on its website, will donate $500 toward the charity. ConnecTeach is one of the main charitable organizations being funded and promoted by Filmraise for “Beyond Right or Wrong.”
Every time the film is watched online, viewers have the option of choosing the charity organization they want to support.
So far, the film has gathered 1,329 views from people around the world.
The movie in its full feature length can be viewed at http://www.filmraise.com/beyond-right-and-wrong/connecteach/ and further information about the movie can be found at http://beyondrightandwrong.com/.