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GPFF: ‘In Our Son’s Name’

In Our Son’s Name, a documentary film directed by Gayla Jamison, follows the story of how the Rodríguez family deals with the loss of their son in the 9/11 tragedy. Yet, how they viewed and handled this incident was very different compared to the popular point of view of the situation. During this time period, most people felt revengeful actions should be taken as a result of this tragedy, but Phyllis Rodríguez feels that violence is not the answer; acceptance and peace are the best solutions.

Zacarias Moussaoui was the first man convicted of being involved with 9/11, and when this news was released, Phyllis’s reaction indicated how she felt about peace and forgiveness. She not only gave her support for the convicted man to not suffer the death penalty, but she even befriended Zacarias’s mother, Aicha el-Wafi. Ever since she saw Aicha el-Wafi in the media, she has wanted to meet this woman because she feels that she can relate to how a fellow mother is feeling about the loss of a son.

The film does a superb job showing how the two mothers’ relationship builds from their first encounter, to them traveling together and receiving awards together. Images and various scenes showing them together holding hands reveal just how genuine their friendship was. Phyllis sent an amazingly inspirational message about forgiveness and solving problems through peace. She saw past the fact that Aicha el-Wafi’s son was involved in the death of her own son, which really affirms that it is possible to cope with tragedy through peace instead of perpetuating revenge and hatred in the world.

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