A woman, a man, a rape, and a hard journey from violence to reconciliation.
Thordis Elva was sixteen when she was raped by her then-boyfriend, Tom Stranger. Like most instances of sexual violence, it was never reported to the police.
Sixteen years later, she boards a plane to do an extraordinary thing: fly seven thousand miles to meet up with the man who turned her life upside down, to confront the past and find out if reconciliation is possible.
South of Forgiveness is an unprecedented collaboration between a survivor and a perpetrator, each equally committed to exploring the darkest moment of their lives. It is a true story about being bent but not broken, of facing fear with courage, and of finding hope even in the most wounded of places.
Thordis Elva is known to Icelanders as a writer, journalist, public speaker, and Woman of the Year 2015. Nine of her plays have been professionally produced and her book about gender-based violence earned her a nomination for the Icelandic Literature Prize. In 2011, she founded an equality campaign that sparked a national debate, and in 2012 she was commissioned to reinvent the approach to violence prevention and sex education in Icelandic schools, resulting in award-winning short films. She has been the Chairman of the Board of the Icelandic Women's Shelter, has served on government committees, and is a sought-after speaker on subjects like gender equality and non-consensual pornography. She holds a BA in theatre, an MA in Editing and Publishing, and currently resides in Stockholm, Sweden with her partner Vidir and their son. Thomas Stranger is based in Sydney, Australia. He has worked in both the youth and outdoor recreation sector since completing his Bachelor of Social Science in 2002. He also holds Certificate III and IV in Youth Work and is currently in the latter stages of a Masters of Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. Outdoor and water based pursuits have been a steady and constant source of rejuvenation, and it's safe to say this will always be the case. His career path has seen him work in various sectors (Community Services, Charity, Construction, Hospitality) and he remains open to opportunities for change and challenge in the future, but for now is deeply content working locally and residing by Sydney harbour with his fiance Cat.