They Killed Sister Dorothy

Posted by Censor Librorum on Mar 25, 2008 | Categories: Arts & Letters

Last night I attended a private screening of “They Killed Sister Dorothy,” a documentary about Sister Dorothy Stang, S.N.D., an environmental activist who was murdered in Brazil in 2005. She began her ministry there in 1966. The movie was filmed by Daniel Junge and produced by Henry Ansbacher and Nigel Noble of Just Media of Denver, CO.stang2.jpg

A citizen of Brazil and the United States, Sr. Dorothy  worked with the Pastoral Land Commission, an organization of the Catholic Church that fights for the rights of rural workers and peasants, and defends land reforms in Brazil. Her death came less than a week after meeting with the  country’s human rights officials about threats to local farmers from loggers and landowners.

After receiving several death threats Sr. Dorothy commented, “I don’t want to flee, nor do I want to abandon the battle of these farmers who live without any protection in the forest. They have the sacronsanct right to aspire to a better life on land where they can live and work with dignity while protecting the environment.”

The film examines the following questions: who was this woman, and why was she killed? What will become of her murderers,   and who else was involved?    What are the implications of her murder and these trials in the future?

The film’s producers are outreaching to Catholic groups, environmentalists like the Rainforest Alliance, and other socially-minded people and organizations who want to support the poor in finding sustainable livelihoods.

I  found the film very timely, with a growing interest by Catholics around the world in protecting the environment, and the way its abuses fall disproportionably hard on the poor and the marginalized.

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