Mapendo is a human rights hero, a survivor of nearly unspeakable atrocities who is now helping numerous other victims to recover and rebuild their lives. But “Pushing the Elephant” also shows the challenge of helping her daughter learn to forgive. Included is the story of her reunion with Nangabire, the only of her ten children who wasn’t able to flee the country’s most turbulent period.

....“My children, each one have a story,” she says, “We have some story maybe we never share.” Not every detail of their suffering is revealed, so the small moments receive greater scrutiny. Mapendo remembers one young son asking her, “Why we are dying, you cannot give us food?”

The name Mapendo means “great love” in Swahili, and in “Pushing the Elephant” viewers see this great love in action. Mapendo repeatedly teaches to forgive those who so abused her family and others as she continues the work of one ordinary woman doing the extraordinary.

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