This film illustrates South Africa’s post-Apartheid transition by taking viewers to the front row of 4 hearings at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Long Night’s Journey Into Day takes viewers to the hearings where murderers meet the surviving family members of their victims in four cases: The Amy Biehl Story, The Cradock 4, the Magoo’s Bar Bombing and The Guguletu 7. The stories in the film underscore the universal themes of conflict, forgiveness, and renewal. A white special forces officer, deeply remorseful for the crimes he committed, struggles to reach peace with the embittered wife of a black activist he killed 14 years ago. A group of mothers, after enduring years of misinformation and denials by the authorities, learns the truth about how their sons were set up, betrayed, and killed in a vicious police conspiracy. A young black activist comes to recognize the anguish he caused by killing a white California student during a mob riot, while her parents see past their pain to embrace a new, multi-racial South Africa. The TRC is raising some of the most profound moral and ethical questions facing the world today – questions about justice, truth, forgiveness, redemption, and the ability of brutalized and brutalizing individuals to subsequently coexist in harmony. As it emerges from its tragedy, South Africa is showing the rest of the world that even the most bitter of conflicts can be addressed through honesty and communication. Long Night’s Journey Into Day is witness to history in the making.