their seats. The fortunate few who have seen the award-winning
documentary, "Long Night's Journey Into Day," have been emotionally
wrought by its dramatic story line: four cases in which truth and
forgiveness quell the hatred and contempt in racially divided South
The movie will make its West Coast debut Wednesday in Newport Beach,
where the Biehls lived when their 26-year-old daughter, Amy, was killed
seven years ago. The slaying by an angry mob in a South African township
is one of the film's cornerstones.
"We were almost speechless when we saw the movie," said Peter Biehl, who
traveled with his wife from Cape Town, South Africa, in January to watch
the film at the renowned Sundance Film Festival in Park City. The movie
won the prestigious Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the two-week
The Biehls said they were blown away.
"The story is so powerfully told," Peter said. "It's not just about Amy.
It's about the struggle of others that really resonates with people."
The screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival marks the fourth time
the film has been shown publicly.
Amy Biehl was killed in August 1993 when she was driving a group of
friends to their homes in the township of Guguletu on the outskirts of
Cape Town. The idealistic Fulbright scholar had traveled to Africa after
graduating from Stanford University and was helping register voters for
the country's first all-race elections the following year.
She encountered a mob shouting anti-white slogans. She was pulled from
her car and bludgeoned and stabbed to death as she lay in the street.
In a strange role of race reversal, Amy was killed because of her skin
Five years later, the men who killed her appeared in front of the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission, asking for amnesty. The commission, which
deals with the four cases in the film, was formed in order to allow
confessions to abuses during the country's apartheid era that pitted the
white-minority government against black militants.
The commission pardoned the four killers, who were serving 18-year prison
terms for Amy's murder. Her parents supported the commission's decision,