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HOT DOCS 2015: SURVIVORS ROWE (2015) ★★★★


How is it possible that a man who is convicted on 39 counts of assaulting fifteen boys between the ages of 8 and 14, could just walk away?  How is possible that this man, who sexually abused close to 500 boys throughout Northwestern Ontario and Northern Manitoba receive only five years in prison, while some of the poor boys could not live with the pain and suffering that Ralph Rowe caused, and took their own lives? They found this the only way to escape the madness Rowe had caused. There are no prosecutors or defenders in Daniel Roher film, only survivors of Rowe who found the courage to move forward, and to forgive the one who turned their entire lives into a nightmare.

Ralph Rowe, was an Anglican priest and Boy Scout leader, who flew his own plane into remote First Nations in northwestern Ontario in the 1970s and 1980s, to ruin the lives of little boys by sexually abusing them. The survivors of Rowe, found that talking to the camera about their experiences, pain, loss, and forgiveness, the only thing that helped them through the agony that he had put them through; to escape the world they were living in.

It is totally heartrending to hear the stories of Rowe`s survival victims: John Fox, Joshua Frogg and Ralph Winter, who open their hearts to the camera, sharing a part of their lives they wish they could erase from their memories. However, in spite of the enormous impact on their lives, the inner sufferings and painful memories, they have found the strength to let it go in a remarkable way in order to continue their lives and to move forward, not only to forget, but also to forgive the one who had tried to destroy their lives.

Survivors Rowe is an interesting documentary film that concentrates only on its heroes, allowing the audience to listen to their stories, and to feel proud of them for being where they are – in a place not many people could have reached. After seeing this film you will come to realize that the best revenge for all your pain and sufferings is to live as a proud human being, and no matter what to not let someone like Ralph Rowe see your tears, unless they are tears of joy.

Screening Information

TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 – April 26 – 7:30 pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 – April 27 – 1:15 pm
Royal Cinema – May 3 – 1:00 pm

Talent Attending

Director Daniel Roher and executive producer Peter O’Brian will be attending all three screenings.

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