The sniper, Thaer Hamad, received a prison sentence of eleven consecutive life terms, but Damelin, courageous and resolute, writes to Hamad's mother. Believing that "forgiveness is a process in which you take a principle decision to give up your justifiable right to revenge" and that "forgiveness releases you from the prison of inhumanity," "One Day after Peace" addresses two of the most difficult conflicts: South Africa's and Israel's.
To educate herself further, Damelin returns to South Africa to learn about that country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She compares their tragedies, the suffering from dreadful losses, and the anger that still exists after apartheid with the Israeli/Palestinian situation. She visits mothers in Cape Town who lost children, in one instance accompanying one of the former Afrikaner apartheid supporters. The mother recognizes this man, and this moment of her reaction expresses the most profound pain imaginable.
Later, in the West Bank, in another deeply moving encounter, Damelin joins a gathering called the Palestinian and Israeli Bereaved Families for Reconciliation. Traveling with and listening to the men and women who bare their emotions in this film is inspirational, astonishing, and a testament to the determination of those who have endured the most unbearable pain to achieve peace. It is a deeply moving and admirably honest presentation.
Directors Miri and Erez Laufer's "One Day after Peace" is part of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict through Film and Discussion series which uses films "to facilitate exploration of the complexities of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict: an effort that will work across political, religious and generational divides." In English and Hebrew with English subtitles, it screens at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium one time only, 4:00 p.m. Sunday, September 15th, the screening followed immediately by a discussion. For more information, you may call 314-968-7487 or on the web at: Webster.edu/filmseries.