This clip (7.5 minutes) is from the introduction to the two hour PBS documentary that aired in 1999. It covers some of the powerful and heart-breaking stories brought to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in South Africa after the negotiated ending to apartheid and the first truly democratic election when Nelson Mandela was elected president. The former apartheid regime (and some of the guerilla oppositional forces) wanted amnesty. Many South Africans wanted to see justice pursued and bring trials against perpetrators of human rights crimes. But the new leadership knew they could not afford the resources to bring so many trials and designed the Truth & Reconciliation Commission as an alternative -- if perpetrators would come forward and tell the truth about their crimes they may be able to avoid a criminal trial. If not, they would be pursued in the courts. The controversial notion of forgiveness was suggested.
South African Broadcasting covered the hearings of the Commission and this documentary uses some of that coverage along with compelling interviews by Bill Moyers with Nobel prize-winning head of the Commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former security officers during apartheid, other perpetrators, victims, survivors and loved ones as well as a judge, a journalist, a poet and theater director.
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