Now the film is starting to circulate, starting with prisons. “And it is a dream for us. If we can get it there, it is an opportunity to touch on a huge problem for American society. Prisons here are a world apart, more so than anywhere else. You have to enter them to change them”.
That is what is happening, starting with Lousiana. “The screening was at 7. At 9:30 we were still there discussing it.” What struck you most about the dialogue? “The detainees caught on to something very strong that Valdeci Antônio Ferreira, Ottoboni’s heir, says: crime is the experience of rejection taken to its extreme, it is a cry for help. When we feel rejected, we cry out for love, from the cradle to the deathbed. With any gesture we make. In the end, it is the search for God. And it is the thing that marked them the most, many have told us. Because it is true.” Then came the question, that of the raised hand. Is it possible? “They all said yes. Everyone. One of the guards was very explicit: ‘In our country, prisons are a place where you put someone in and throw away the key. And it suits us, because it is a business. Apac is something else: unimaginable, but possible. Because if it is possible there, it is also possible here’.”
After Lafourche, further screenings are planned. Another jail in Louisiana, in St. John’s County. Potentially also in Tennessee, “and it would be even more interesting there because the prisons are really tough.” And, starting in September, in different universities: “Notre Dame, Columbia, Loyola Chicago. The dates are scheduled, and it is just the beginning. We have found a film distributor in Brazil and something is beginning to move in Europe.”
And you, what have you discovered about yourself? “The wound I told you about, the need for justice, has reopened. I have always wondered if forgiveness was really possible in the face of certain crimes. Is change possible? Now I can say that it is. First of all, for me. Because what I have seen what makes me go into the depths of myself. That forgiveness has touched me too.”