facing fearAs a result of the District-sponsored professional development trip to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, the three sister colleges and the District were inspired to host a screening of the short film, “Facing Fear” at all three campuses, beginning at Skyline College on October 14.

In the film, “worlds collide when a former neo-Nazi skinhead and the gay victim of his hate crime attack meet by chance 25 years after the incident that dramatically shaped both of their lives. Together, they embark on a journey of forgiveness that challenges both to grapple with their beliefs and fears, eventually leading to an improbable collaboration…and friendship.”

Each of the colleges were honored to host Mr. Jason Cohen, Director and Producer, Mr. Matthew Boger and Mr. Timothy Zaal, both subjects of the film, who sparked some truly insightful discussions.

After each documentary screening, the audience was invited to participate in an interactive discussion.  The audience was particularly interested with Boger’s forgiveness and how he moved on with his life, thus many questions gravitated toward whether Zaal’s actions were due to his own past violent encounters and whether Boger truly forgave him.  Both Boger’s and Zaal’s heartfelt answers inspired and moved the audience.  Repeatedly, the audience was prompted to adopt an attitude of courage: courage to learn and understand differences, courage to forgive those who mistreat you, courage to be forgiven, and courage to redeem yourself.

Cohen’s phenomenal film, “Facing Fear,” along with Cohen’s, Boger’s, and Zaal’s presence for the live interactive discussion tied closely with Skyline College’s reputation in promoting equality and social justice. This event provided the audience an opportunity to explore the roots of hatred and the power to effect change within oneself that unconsciously lead to significant transformations on personal and social levels.

For more information about the film, please visit www.facingfearmovie.com.

Article by Belinda Chan