"Roses in December," that beautiful metaphor Ana Carrigan used as the film's title to describe Jean Donovan and the three nuns — Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, and Dorothy Kazel — who were raped and murdered with her in EI Salvador on that fateful night of December 2, 1980, captures perfectly the sense of Jean Donovan's life. The rose, usually associated with love and beauty, certainly characterizes the beauty of her love for and her work with the Salvadoran people. The rose's bloom, however, lasts but a brief time, reminding us of the brevity of life in general, and of Donovan's life in particular. December marks the beginning of the season when roses flower in EI Salvador, a time when plantation owners expect Indian peasants to work twelve-hour days in oppressive heat, harvesting coffee and cotton, and receiving very little compensation for their labor.



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