During the 1990s, psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela interviewed Eugene de Kock, commanding officer of the South African government’s death squad stationed at Vlakplaas–a man who had ordered and carried out the torture and murder of dozens of anti-apartheid activists, earning the nickname “Prime Evil.” De Kock was serving a 212-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity.
She conducted these interviews as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that held tribunals in which victims and survivors confronted policemen, government officials, and others who injured and killed blacks under apartheid. Victims and survivors had the opportunity to speak of their pain, question de Kock and others, and—if they chose—to offer forgiveness, something that could be given only once the “apartheid of the mind” had been broken and the existence of something to forgive had been admitted.
But how does one even begin to forgive crimes of that magnitude, especially when our very idea of justice is tied to concepts of revenge and righteous anger? Does forgiving the criminal dishonor the loved ones who died at his hands? And how can any nation–including our own–overcome the injustices of the past?
Nicholas Wright takes us inside the prison where these interviews were conducted for a moving study of remorse, a timely call for truth and accountability, and a remarkable exploration of the power of forgiveness.
Set by Patrick Huber
Costumes by Michele Friedman Siler
Lighting by Joseph W. Clapper
Multimedia by Michael Dorsey
May 12-14, 18-21 and 25-28
All shows 8 PM except Sundays
May 14 and 21 at 7 PM, May 28 at 2 PM
Kranzberg Arts Center
(501 N. Grand at Olive, 63103)
$30 general admission
$25 seniors 65+
$20 for full-time students with valid ID
Box Office Hotline: 314-669-6382