A powerful forgiveness scene takes place in the movie, The Interpretor (staring Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman).  Fast forward your movie to Chapter 7 – 40:10……


The scene starts with federal agent Tobin Keller questioning Sylvia Broome as to why she is in pictures that he has recently received.  Keller questions Sylvia’s loyalty and mentions reasons why she might want to hate the current ruler – Zuwanie…her family was killed by one of his landmines.  The scene begins with her answering his questions…


“Shh.  We don’t name the dead.  Everyone who loses somebody wants revenge on someone, on God if they can’t find anyone else.  And in Africa…In Matobo, the Ku believe that the only way to end grief is to save a life.  If someone is murdered, a year of mourning ends with a ritual that we call “the drowning man trial.”  There’s an all-night party beside a river….

……At dawn, the killer is put in a boat.  He’s taken out on the water and he’s dropped.  He’s bound, so that he can’t swim.  The family of the dead then has to make a choice.  They can let him drown or they can swim out and save him.  The Ku believe that if the family lets the killer drown, they’ll have justice but spend the rest of their lives in mourning.  But if they save him, if they admit that life isn’t always just, that very act can take away their sorrow.  Vengeance is a lazy form of grief.”


Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Littleton, CO and an affiliate faculty teacher at Colorado Christian University.

She is also the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice."