Films and Documentaries on RJ
A list of movies on RJ (but also more in general on offenders´ rehabilitation, conflict resolution, peace, forgiveness and justice) has been collected during the EU-funded project “Accessibility and Initiation of Restorative Justice” (in the context of findings instruments for raising awareness on RJ).
Movies are ordered chronologically, from the most recent to the oldest.
More information on these movies can be found online.
Feel free to contact us to share and add new movies on this list.
The Meeting (Alan Gilsenan, 2018). This docudrama is based on a real case of victim-offender mediation which took place in Ireland. Read more here.
Circles (Cassidy Friedman, 2018). This documentary follows Eric Butler, a RJ pioneer working to combat racial discrimination in schools by replacing suspensions and expulsions with mentoring and conflict mediation circles. Butler, who is struggling to raise his 15-year-old son, Tre, in a neighborhood dominated by gangs and drug dealers, finds his RJ strategy tested when Tre goes to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Read more here.
Risking Light (Dawn Mikkelson, 2018). The documentary is made by filmmakers from the United States, Cambodia and Australia, telling the stories of three people who had the courage to step out of the tragic darkness of the past to move on from grief to compassion and forgiveness. Read more here.
A Better Man (Intervention Productions, 2017). The documentary presents a real and unique story for contributing to the struggle to end domestic violence: 20 years after the abuses, the co-director meets her abusive ex-partner, a step towards understanding, accountability, justice and healing. Read more here.
A Conversation (No Theatre, 2017). The film is based on a theatre performance of a real case where two families meet in the presence of a facilitator, the parents of a young woman who was raped and murdered and the family of the offender. The film aims to raise awareness on the potential power of dialogue between people affected by serious crime, but it does not picture a process fully in line with all methodological requirements of a restorative justice process. Read more and watch the trailer here.
Jirga (Benjamin Girmoil, 2017, 78min). This film tell the story of a former Australian soldier who returns to Afghanistan looking for the family of a man he killed during the war in order to confess his crime and suffer the consequences. More info here.
Black Christmas (Mark Kaplan, 2016). The documentary shows the journey of some survivors and one of the extremists of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) who planted the bombs in a shopping centre in Worcester, South Africa, on Christmas Eve in 1996.
Restorative Aperitive (original title: Aperitivo Ristorativo, produced by students for the University of Sassari, Italy, 2016, 11 minutes). This short film was produced in occasion of the RJ WEEK 2015, when the University of Sassari and the local community of Tempio Pausania organised a Restorative Conference in Prison and a Restorative Aperitif in a local bar of the town. Read more and watch the film here.
If I see you I greet you (original title: Als ik je zie dan groet ik je, produced by Julia Roeselers and Viewpoint Productions, 2015, 55 minutes). This documentary, shown on Dutch TV (English subtitles available in Dec. 2015) gives voice to a victim of robbery in a cafe. The documentary reconstructs the way the case was handled, the victim’s own actions and her request for restoration. Watch it here (in Dutch).
Restorative Justice: Changing Hearts and Minds (directed by John Beck, 2015, 30 minutes). The film documents a local restorative justice movement affecting a whole community, with a special focus on the youngsters involved in the restorative process.
Beyond Punishment (directed by Hubertus Siegert, 2015, 103 minutes). The film documents three stories in three different countries (Germany, Norway and US) where the victim and offender of cases of homicide meet.
Restorative Justice, Viaggio alla scoperta della giustizia riparativa (directed by Grazia Mannozzi & Giovanni Angelo Lodigiani, 2014, 45 minutes). As the title, says, this documentary is a ‘journey for the discovery of Restorative Justice’. It has been realised by the University of Insubria in Italy. English subtitles will be available soon. Watch the film here.
Letter From the Mayor (directed by Paul de Bont, 2014). The movie documents a family group conference held in a small Dutch community struggling with a variety of issues that were negatively affecting the quality of life in the village. Watch the trailer here.
Hergo: 3 Testimonies (produced by Alba, Dikadoku, and Cera Foundation, 2014, 27 minutes). A documentary on RJ conferences for juvenile offenders in Belgium (click here).
Medling Vid Brott (produced by Eleonore Lind, 2014, 147 minutes). A film to train and discuss about mediation (in Swedish only).
When you hear my voice (produced by The Bespoke Film Company). The documentary celebrates the restorative effect of Shakespeare and literacy on a group of young offenders from Malta prison, realising their talents, developing their self-esteem and finding new connections with each other. Trailer.
Beyond Right & Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness (Lekha Singh & Roger Spottiswoode, 2012). The documentary examines areas of conflict around the world and ask what it takes to forgive under the most difficult of circumstances. Read more here.
Cesare must die (directed by Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani, 2012, 76 minutes). The rehearsals of inmates at a high-security prison in Rome prepare for a public performance of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”.
Concrete Steel and Paint (directed and produced by Cindy Burstein and Tony Heriza, 2011, 55 minutes). The story of a restorative programme using art to facilitate dialogue between victims and imprisoned offenders.
Face to Face – Scratch beneath the surface (directed by Michael Rymer, 2011). The story of a community conference to let the offender explain his actions.
Fambul Tok (directed by Sara Terry, 2011). The story of healing in post-conflict Sierra Leone through the intimate stories of perpetrators and victims.
Two sided story (directed by Tor Ben Mayor, 2011). The documentary follows the experiences of 27 Palestinians and Israelis that participated in the “Narrative Project” organised by the NGO “Parents Circle- Families Forum”.
Blueprint For Emotion – Why Relationships Matter (Heartspeak Productions, 2010, 68 minutes). This lecture is highly recommended for restorative justice practitioners: it focuses on the impact of emotions during restorative interventions.
Video Letters from Prison (directed by Milt Lee, 2010, 54 minutes). The story of three sisters reconnecting with their incarcerating father through a series of video letters.
12 Angry Lebanese: The Documentary (directed by Zeina Daccache, 2009, 78 minutes). For 15 months, 45 inmates work on a theatre play which touches upon the themes of forgiveness, self- development, stigma and hope.
The Transformation of West Philadelphia High School: A Story of Hope (produced by International Institute for Restorative Practices – IIRP, 2009). The story of the implementation of restorative practices and strong leadership in a troubled high school in Philadelphia.
The Amy Wall Story (produced by the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies, Fresno Pacific University, 2009). The story of a victim-offender reconciliation programme after a car accident caused the death of a 17 years old girl.
Letters from Prison (directed by Edson Costa, 2008, 7 minutes). The short film tells the life behind the prison bars trough the letters exchanged by three incarcerated youngsters. Available on YouTube.
I’ve Loved You So Long (directed by Philippe Claudel, 2008, 117 minutes). The story of a woman confronted with the unexpected goodness of her family after spending fifteen years in prison.
The Heart of Jenin (directed by Marcus Vetter and Leon Geller, 2008, 89 min). The story of a Palestinian boy shot by Israeli soldiers and his father´s gesture of peace: donating his son’s organs to Israeli children.
Flowers of Rwanda – Making Peace with Genocide (directed by David Muñoz, 2008, 24 minutes). This film considers whether killers and survivors can coexist in peace 14 years after the genocide.
Take (directed by Charles Oliver, 2007, 98 minutes). The story of two strangers who met in tragedy; they will meet face-to-face to speak about loss, forgiveness and redemption only once he will be on death row.
Beyond Conviction (directed by Rachel Libert, 2006, 97 minutes). The story of three crime victims on their journey towards meeting face-to-face with the perpetrator.
Forgiveness (directed by Mara Alper, 2006, 28 minutes). Four stories on forgiveness as a healing strategy told by a prisoner, a recovering alcoholic, a grieving mother and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Video Letters Rwanda Pilot (directed by Eric van den Broek, 2006, 18 minutes). Episode of two survivors separated by the Rwandese conflict speak with each other via video letters. Available on YouTube.
Burning Bridges (produced by International Institute for Restorative Practices – IIRP, 2005, 35 minutes). The story of a RJ Conference after some juveniles burned an historical bridge. Free access to the IIRP’s video library here.
Videoletters (directed by Katarina Rejger and Eric van den Broek, 2005, 75 minutes). Three short documentaries around the theme of reconciliation. When the war separated people from ex-Yugoslavia, videoletters have been used to re-bring people together and promote reconciliation. See the website.
Beyond Zero Tolerance: Restorative Practices in Schools (produced by International Institute for Restorative Practices – IIRP, 2004, 24 minutes). The implementation of restorative practices in several schools in the U.S., the Netherlands and the U.K. Free access to the IIRP’s video library here.
The Way Home (distributed by Odyssey Networks, 2004, 60 minutes). Glenn Close narrates three stories on how individuals discover the gift of forgiveness and how it transforms their lives.
Levity (directed by Ed Solomon, 2003, 100 minutes). The story of an ex-life-sentenced murderer who attempts to so seek redemption with the family of his victim.
A Justice that Heals (directed by Jay Shefsky, 2002, 60 minutes). The story of a family searching for a “justice that heals” after a murder case.
Meeting with a Killer – One Family’s Journey (directed by Lisa F. Jackson, 2001). This film documents the journey of a family who prepares to meet the man who murdered their daughter.
Long Night’s Journey Into Day (directed by Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffmann, 2000, 94 minutes). This film follows several cases from the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, showing how communication has been used to attempt the country’s social reconciliation.
Facing the Demons (produced by International Institute for Restorative Practices – IIRP, 1999, 60 minutes). The story of a RJ Conference after a murder case.
The Woolf Within (produced by Why Me?, 11 minutes). The story of Peter Woolf and Will Riley after their meeting in a restorative justice process.
Confronting (Series by Oprah Winfree Network). Short documentaries on victim-offender mediation often in very serious crimes.
Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice (24 minutes). Documentary on RJ described by victims, offenders, judges, lawyers, scholars, etc.
Journey to the Centre – Documentary on Restorative/ Reparative Justice (24 minutes). Documentary on a group of inmates joining a group of church volunteers for building a labyrinth.