________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number2 . . . . September 17, 1999

Glimmer of Hope.

Charles Konowal (Director). Joe MacDonald (Producer).
Montreal, PQ: The National Film Board of Canada, 1997.
52 min., 21 sec., VHS, $39.95.
Order Number C9197 028.

Subject Headings:
Murder victims' families.
Bereavement-Psychological aspects.

Grades 12 and up / Ages 17 and up.
Review by Katie Cook.

** /4

On June 15, 1991, Carin Streufert, a 19-year-old university freshman, was abducted, raped, and murdered. Her parents, Don and Mary, and her sister, Emily, now had to deal with the reality of violent crime At present, there are several hundred cases of victim offender mediation involving violent crime underway throughout North America. The Streufert family is part of a growing movement toward this radically different vision of justice. This video takes them through three years of victim offender mediation and, while it does absolutely nothing to change their circumstances, it does help them to begin to heal and to begin the process of forgiveness. They believe that this process will prevent them from drowning in vengefulness and keep them from turning into victims of a crime that never ends.
      It is difficult to watch parents confronting the killer of their daughter. It is also not easy to hear the justifications and excuses that a convicted killer serving life without the possibility of parole for thirty years will come up with when he is being confronted and filmed. The prison interviews were done with a hand held camera, and the volume grows louder and softer, depending on how far away the camera was from the participants. As a result, parts of the video are difficult to hear, especially when Don Streufert is speaking as he is naturally soft-spoken. The images are clear, and the views being presented are articulate and well thought out.
      The video does not really fit into the curriculum, except perhaps into a law class that looks at alternative systems of justice. However, even here, the video is highly personal to the Streufert family and does not contain a model or system for an alternative justice system.


Katie Cook is a social studies teacher and a teacher-librarian at the Steinbach Regional Secondary School in Steinbach, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364