A film by Sara Terry
82 minutes, documentary, color, English & Krio w/English subtitles, 2011
Filled with lessons for the West, Fambul Tok explores a culture that believes true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals – and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war come together for the first time in tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. By reviving their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grass-roots level. We are present in the most intimate of moments – at the bonfire where a rape victim pulls her perpetrator out of the crowd to hear his confession and apology; at the dramatic meeting between two previous best friends, the first time they have spoken in 17 years; when a haunted man admits to killing his friend’s father; on the search for a native son who killed 17 members of his own clan, so he could return and apologize for what he has done.
WINNER! Best Documentary, Fort Myers Film Festival
Watch the Trailer
"Fambul Tok offers a home-grown approach to conflict resolution based on traditional practices where both the perpetrators and the victims have opportunity to publicly dialogue and come to terms even with the worst crimes committed."
"Shocking, inspiring and engrossing. Moments of soul-searching that will not fail to move viewers. Director Sara Terry brings a career’s worth of journalism experience to this assured filmmaking debut." - The Hollywood Reporter
"The film is beautifully shot, the tenderness, grief and guilt of victims and perpetrators bleed through Terry’s frames, blending in the act of forgiveness." - The Jakarta Post
Fambul Tok by Sara Terry
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Check out the Fambul Tok benefit album, Wan Fambul/One Family, featuring tracks by global music heavyweights Vieux Farka Toure, Idan Raichel, Vusi Mahlasela, and Dengue Fever.
Watch Fambul Tok producer Libby Hoffman's TEDx talk on forgiving the unforgiveable.
Listen to Fambul Tok creator John Caulker on NPR's The Story.
● See How it Ends: Savage’s Apology