Friday, November 11, 2011

Kinyarwanda - A Must See Film

If you are in or near any of these cities - New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle - I suggest you run, not walk, to the theater on December 2 to see this new film, directed by Alrick Brown. Kinyarwanda is not just about the genocide in Rwanda, it is a film that holds significance in many areas. In general, I believe it is important to support independent films because the world needs to see multi-dimensional representations of people of color on screen. Specifically, the people of Rwanda want their story told and not to be forgotten.

Rwanda can teach the world about forgiveness, unity, and perseverance. Today, citizens do not identify themselves as Hutu or Tutsi; they are all Rwandans. This film highlights the humanity of survivors and perpetrators. On the screen, we are enveloped with Rwandan culture and language. Viewers experience the dreams of children, a history lesson on what ignited and sustained the division amongst brothers, the ability for Muslims and Christians to work together, and Africans saving themselves. The executive producer, Ishmael Ntihabose, is a survivor who wanted to share his story. Many of the actors and crew are native Rwandans.

During the post-screening discussion, Marie Claudine Mukamabano, the founder of Kuki Ndiho Foundation, addressed the audience. She is a survivor who shared two statements that resonated within me. First, she noted that when dealing with persons who have wronged us, we have two choices; either forgive or seek revenge. To forgive brings us freedom. It we can't exact revenge on those who we feel deserve it, we turn the vengeance toward ourselves and those closest to us. Second, if women stand together, we can bring about peace in this world.

Some things you just have to experience for yourself. Kinyarwanda is one of those things. I hope I have inspired you to look into this film. Please watch the trailer. Visit the website to learn more about the production. Also check out Imagenation and AFFRM, organizations that are working diligently to showcase our stories to the world.

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