Four years ago, 21-year-old Dylann Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina. He sat down for a Bible study, then shot and killed nine people.
His goal was to start a race war. Instead, this devastated Christian community responded with the power of God’s love.
The nation was stunned when the families of the victims publicly and tearfully decided to forgive the man who killed their loved ones.
Now, a new documentary called EMANUEL is giving fresh insight into the hours leading up to and following the horrific shooting as told by the survivors.
The film, which was executive produced by Stephen Curry, Viola Davis, and Julius Tennons, examines how hope and faith are emerging out of one of the darkest moments in recent American history.
EMANUEL hits theaters nationally through Fathom Events for two nights only on June 17 and 19. These dates fall on the anniversary of the shooting and Roof’s first court appearance when he was publicly forgiven by the victims.
The Museum of the Bible hosted an exclusive screening Tuesday evening with the shooting survivors.
“The documentary highlights how a horrible tragedy can bring a community together and spreads an important message about the power of forgiveness,” said Curry. “I hope the film inspires others like it does me.”
The film’s director, Brian Ivie, says the stories of the victims impacted him as a Christian.
“As a filmmaker, and more importantly, as a Christian, I am always looking for examples of ‘pure religion.’ The kind of undeniable faith that makes people outside the church turn and pay attention to What God is doing in the world,” he said, adding that his film is about “men and women who decided to love a murderer.”
EMANUEL was made in direct partnership with the City of Charleston and the families affected by that racist terror attack.
The profits from the film will be donated to the survivors of the shooting and the families of the victims.
Click here to buy tickets.