‘Emanuel’ Documentary Produced by Steph Curry and Viola Davis Tells the Story of the AME Church’s Forgiveness After Massacre; In Theaters June 17 & 19

Do the frequency and horror of mass shootings ever overwhelm you?  Sometimes my mind struggles to process the details:  Virginia Beach, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, UNC Charlotte, Highlands Ranch, Tree of Life Synagogue, Chabad of Poway synagogue.

The list goes on of senseless violence targeting coworkers, students, worshippers, and others.  How would you react if you were a victim, survivor, or loved-one?

Some members of Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shocked observers by appearing in court two days after Dylann Roof massacred their family members at a Bible study session, and telling him they forgave him.  Would I do that?  Would you?

Star lights

NBA star Stephen Curry and Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis executive produced this penetrating and moving film about the June 2015 massacre.  Curry feels “the documentary highlights how a horrible tragedy can bring a community together, and spreads an important message about the power of forgiveness….  I hope the film inspires others like it does me.”

Davis adds, “Miraculously, from this devastation we witnessed tremendous benchmarks of humanity. The survivors found courage to love in the face of hate.”

Emanuel offers a stirring, revealing, insightful portrayal of the emotional process of meeting evil with grace.

Race-war dreams

Roof, a twenty-one-year-old self-confessed white supremacist, entered the historic black church with a concealed gun, hoping to ignite a race war.  He reportedly said Blacks were raping white women and taking over his country.

He almost relented, because the people in the meeting were so nice.  But when they closed their eyes to pray, Roof opened fire.  Nine died.

The next morning, the New York Times noted, Charleston police chief Greg Mullen called the episode “a tragedy…the worst night of my career…It is unfathomable that somebody in today’s society would walk into a church while they are having a prayer meeting and take their lives.”  Barack Obama delivered a eulogy at one of the memorial services, leading mourners in singing “Amazing Grace.”

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SOURCE: Assist News