In 2015, the United States was shocked and horrified when a 21-year-old white supremacist opened fire during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, leaving nine African-Americans dead.
Shooter Dylann Roof, now 25, shot and killed Thompson, Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel L. Simmons and Sharonda Coleman-Singleton. Roof later confessed he hoped his murderous spree would start a race war.
But what man intended for evil, God used for good.
To the shock of a watching world, forty-eight hours later, in the midst of unspeakable grief and suffering, the families of the Emanuel Nine made a stunning announcement: They had forgiven Roof for the heinous act.
Their decision to forgive Roof and to work toward reconciliation sparked a movement of kindness that impacted cities far beyond Charleston.
This June, marking the fourth anniversary of the event, executive producers Stephen Curry and Viola Davis, co-producer Mariska Hargitay, and director Brian Ivie (The Drop Box) present EMANUEL. The film will be in theaters for two nights only on June 17 and 19.
The film features intimate interviews with survivors and family members and highlights the healing power of forgiveness. The documentary powerfully weaves the history of race relations in Charleston, the significance and impact of Mother Emanuel Church, and the hope that miraculously resulted from the horrific shooting.
The film was made in direct partnership with the City of Charleston and the families affected by the tragedy. The producers will donate their share of profits from the film to the survivors of the shooting and the families of the victims.
Watch the film trailer below.