Directed by Jim Finn • Documentary • 2012 • 52 minutes
The violent overreaction to 9/11 and to the revolutions of the 1960’s cannot be explained only with fear and politics. Franz Hinkelammert, a German-born liberation theologian, economist and philosopher, brings religion front and center to the discussion in a unique way. The emptiness and senselessness felt by the those at the margins of a free-market utopian ideology has been filled by an extreme millenarian Christianity and other religious fundamentalisms that justify murder and torture as preemptive self-defense. In place of a suicidal theology of death based on defeating or marginalizing others, Hinkelammert advocates an economics that promotes coexistence by looking towards liberation theology and the preferential option for the poor. Any analysis of how Latin America went from military dictatorships and neoliberal capitalist austerity to the rise of the center-left governments of the last decade cannot simply focus on policy failure. Alternatives came from the grassroots: from activists, unions, base Christian communities and centers like the D.E.I., Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones, based in Costa Rica and co-founded by Hinkelammert after his exile from Pinochet’s Chile. For over 30 years it has brought together thousands of people from Christian community and popular movement groups all over Latin America to discuss, write, research and swap nonviolent solutions to the problems of economic, religious and political exploitation.