Can having the power to forgive others and yourself help you lead a more fulfilling and loving life? That is the question raised in the documentary The Forgiveness Journey. Here is our review.
Last June we reviewed the short film Last Day with Lizzie and applauded director Matt Duhamel for his emotional piece about a man who is finding it difficult to let go of his deceased daughter. Now, Matt has returned with an intriguing documentary called The Forgiveness Journey. In it, the director talks to people from all walks of life and how they believe that forgiving leads them to be both healthier in spirit and in mind.
Showing no bias, the film shows people from different religious backgrounds too; Hinduism, Catholics, Buddhism, Muslims. Interestingly, they all share the same belief that forgiveness is a far better path to walk than holding on to the thirst for revenge.
The Forgiveness Journey is not just a documentary; it is a very personal trip for the director Matt Duhamel. He shares his life with the audience. Duhamel was arrested in 2006 for a sex offense; which then led to him becoming estranged with his own daughter. Holding nothing back for the cameras, Duhamel talks candidly about the incident and how he longs to rebuild his relationship with his child. His daughter won’t speak to her father and the basic need and love of a parent is very evident.
As well as hearing Matt’s own story, we get to hear of other people who have been done wrong and have since let go of the anger and resentment. Matt talks to a man called Kurtis whose own uncle raised and abused him from an early age. Whilst any kind of abuse is bad, it’s heart-breaking to hear the level of abuse received here. Yet Kurtis has forgiven all his wrongdoings and moved on.
Like Duhamel’s short film, The Forgiveness Journey is well made. The documentary features some nice interviews mixed with re-enactments, heart-warming stories and great research. Add into the fact that Matt never lets the documentary become boring thanks to smart editing; the final result is an interesting film. The biggest positive I can give this documentary is that I walked away thinking about my life – how I have held on to anger and how now I feel letting go will, not only benefit my life, but how it will benefit my family too. For that, Matt Duhamel should be applauded.