Redefining RIP

"It's a shame that RIP doesn't stand for rest in Peace anymore it stands for revenge is a promise, you know. So whenever you see RIP most people say 'Oh Rest in Peace'. No, Revenge is a promise. I promise I'm gonna kill whoever killed my friend, you know, and we have to end that cycle, you know. It's time to start forgiving."


REDEFINING R.I.P. is a short documentary that portrays individuals in Richmond, California as they work to bring the community together and gain recognition for the positive aspects of their city. Richmond, a once vibrant community has gone through decades of neglect and is struggling to redefine itself. The film explores the hardships the people of Richmond have gone though, what they are doing to overcome them and help create a thriving community. There are several community organizations working to do this such as The Richmond Children's Foundation and the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Advisory Council. Together they seek to redefine and cast a positive light on the city in which they live and this film hopes to be a source of media that celebrates what the positive work being done in the community.



Discussion Guide* 

The purpose of this discussion guide is to help create a dialogue about the various issues that can challenge a community like Richmond's Iron Triangle.


  • Overcoming the cycle of vengeance and learning to forgive as a community.
  • Shining a light on youth whose neighborhood has many problems as they work to take a stand against violence and crime.
  • A community project focuses on revitalizing a neighborhood to provide a better future for its residents.

Discussion Guide

What part of the film stood out to you the most, and why?

  • Were these positive or negative images for you?

Why do you suppose that negative images are shown in the media more than positive images?

How do you think that positive activities can get more positive reception and recognition?

T.J. says, "It's a shame that R.I.P. no longer stands for rest in peace anymore. It stands for revenge is a promise....It's time to start forgiving."

  • When do you find it hard to forgive?
  • What are things that make forgiveness easier?
  • How do you benefit from practicing forgiveness?

T.J says "manhood"

  • How would you define manhood? 
  • Has this definition been misrepresented?

What things mentioned in the film does the community need?

  • What are some solutions that were mentioned in the film?
  • Can you come up with any other solutions?
  • Does your community face any similar issues?

If you were a part of such a community what would you do to change it?

  • What are some ways to demonstrate the areas value and potential?
  • Are there some things that you aren't capable of changing?

James says "Instead of just focusing on our generation, we need to try and break the generations under us, so as they come up, the cycle will change."

  • At what point is it too late to make a difference in a youth's mind?

James says we should focus on the youth because their (young adults) minds are already made up

  • Do you think there is a point when a mind can no longer be changed? Why or why not?

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City of Richmond:

Richmond Children's Foundation:
125 Park Place, Suite 230
Richmond, California 94801



Richmond Police Department



Meet the Filmmakers


KATIE GARNER: Originally from Salinas, California, Katie has completed a double major in Cinema Production and Theater Arts at San Francisco State University. She graduated in the spring of 2010 and hopes to move on to make more films that promote social consciousness. Using film to change the world has always been a dream of hers and while this is her first documentary, she plans to make many more that will inspire action towards social justice. Katie grew up living a very sheltered life and filming "Redefining R.I.P." has been a very eye-opening experience for her. Now more than ever she is motivated to make films that bring issues of injustice to light.






KRISTIN LINNEY is a filmmaker who hails from San Francisco's Bay Area. After attending San Francisco State University for 7 years she is pleased to screen her latest documentary "Redefining R.I.P" as her last class at the school ends. Completing a Film Production Degree with a minor in Anthropology has provided her with the education and social skills that are necessary in documentary film-making. She plans to use this background to continue making films with the purpose of social justice. She hopes to continue learning about and speaking for human and animal rights. No matter how much you know, there is always more to learn.


JEFFREY GULLIVER grew up in Torrance, CA and attended El Camino College before transferring to San Francisco State University to study Cinema. He has a keen interest in movies and has been working with film and video for over five years. Jeffrey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cinema in May of 2010. "Redefining R.I.P." is his first attempt at Documentary film and he looks forward to working on future projects.


*The information on these pages is provided by the student film makers and does not represent an endorsement or verification of statements from the Health Equity Institute