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Until Hope is Found: A documentary about Kenya

Posted by Administrator on April 13, 2012

If you have ever gone through a traumatic experience or suffered from repeated trauma, you may struggle with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a constant sense of danger that you just can’t kick. Or the trauma may have left you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust people.

Psychological trauma is something that affects us all and is the result of a serious issue in Greene County. According to Rodney Dwyer, executive director of the Family Violence Center in Springfield, Greene County has almost twice as many incidences of domestic violence than any other county in the state.

Hope, oftentimes, is the most underrated ingredient to fix a shattered world that once provided security. Patrick Mureithi, artist in residence at Drury from Kenya, hopes to be a part of that healing process by providing a peaceful solution through film.

In 2007, Mureithi traveled to Rwanda to film “ICYIZERE: Hope,” which depicts the gathering of 10 survivors and 10 perpetrators of the 1994 genocide that killed approximately one million people in 100 days.

“Growing up, my country was peaceful. Now it’s a different reality, and that concerns me because my family, the people I love, are there,” Mureithi states.

Through his film, Mureithi discovered three things. He found that the greatest malady in Africa is unresolved psychological trauma.

Secondly, he discovered that true forgiveness is possible when different sides of a conflict are united in a safe environment.

Lastly, Mureithi learned that by working towards one’s own healing, we become more complete human beings.

Mureithi notes that every human being wants to be understood. “When you take the time to actually understand, you’ll realize that you’re more alike than different,” he adds.

With his new film, “Kenya: Until Hope is Found,” which has yet to be completed, Mureithi hopes to initiate conversations about the futility of repeated cycles of violence and the need to address unresolved psychological trauma.

“In November and December of last year, I spent time in Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum, interviewing victims and perpetrators of the country’s 2007-2008 post-election violence that left more than 1,200 dead and 500,000 displaced from their homes. I am trying to raise funds to travel to Kenya in May to film a gathering of 10 perpetrators and 10 victims of the violence.”

While Mureithi enjoys connecting people through film and finds pleasure in sharing people’s stories, he admits that filming can be challenging. “For one, you can’t script reality, and secondly, raising the funds for full-length documentaries can be tough.”

Despite the challenges filming poses, Mureithi will edit the footage he gathers in May into the first version of “Kenya: Until Hope is Found” and return to Kenya in October to screen the documentary throughout the country.

“The media is such a powerful tool. It can be decisive yet effective in bringing people together.”

Trauma is a response that resonates with everyone because it speaks of the human condition and is relevant to every human being.

Though it can be difficult to address, it forces us to face our wounds so that we can begin to heal.

Mureithi feels that hope is the greatest, most effective coping mechanism and asserts, “the only gift I can offer anyone is my healthiest self, and I get healthy by making peace with my past and my emotions.”

Source: http://www.drurymirror.com/news/until-hope-is-found-1.2847402

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