In the case of Hirut's story, Difret film producer Angelina Jolie attempted to understand (without excusing) the child abductor almost as much as she empathized with the victim. Tradition and poverty have historically seen men justify exerting physical power over women. If as a society we can understand why a man would believe it's justified to steal and rape a young girl, then we might have an actual chance of changing the culture that created him. But that balance of understanding without excusing is a difficult line to walk.
As artists and filmmakers of faith, who among us is brave enough to stare into that chaotic abyss? Because I promise you that if you do step to the edge of darkness, if you dare delve into the the practice of understanding evil, the abyss will do everything it can to pull you in.
In his novel, The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis struggled while putting his mind into that of Screwtape, a devil. He later wrote, "Though it was easy to twist one's mind into the diabolical attitude, it was not fun, or not for long. The strain produced a sort of spiritual cramp. The world into which I had to project myself while I spoke through Screwtape was all dust, grit, thirst, and itch."
Like Jesus wrestling with the devil in the desert, all you will have is your faith to keep you anchored. But when you re-emerge, you'll be one step closer to contributing a chapter to the true human history. You'll be a step closer to alighting the neurons of the people in the darkness that are crying out for meaning, inclusion, and empathy.