In a new documentary produced by Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn, Purpose Prize winner Elizabeth Alderman recalls the horror she felt after she lost her 25-year-old son, Peter, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. “I always believed that if I lost a child, I would never stop screaming, she says. But after Peter was killed, I learned that you only have two options. One: You can kill yourself. The other option is to put one foot in front of the other.” Alderman and her husband, Stephen, chose the latter.
To honor their son and to help victims of terrorism and mass violence around the world, the Aldermans created the Peter C. Alderman Foundation. The foundation trains health care professionals and establishes clinics globally to provide mental health services to people who would otherwise have nowhere to go for help.
In the documentary, Love Hate Love, set against a haunting soundtrack that includes music from U2, Radiohead and Bruce Springsteen, the Aldermans talk about the journey that led them around the world eventually touching the lives of 100,000 victims. Among them: people who have seen family members executed, parents who have had children die from starvation, women who have been raped. “The problem with mass violence is that it massively traumatizes individuals and traumatizes massively, that is, affects a whole society,” says Stephen Alderman in the film, standing in a dusty Ugandan village. “If you look at the incidence of people who have suffered something (in post-conflict countries), that are over 5 or 6 years of age, it’s 100 percent.”
Love Hate Love, which focuses on families touched by terror, also tells the stories of a man who survived a bombing in Bali and a woman whose sister died in the 2005 London terror attacks.
Film showings for Love Hate Love will be announced on the film’s website, where you can also see the trailer.