Last week I was most fortunate to be among the 250 invited guests at the New York City preview of the new documentary Rwanda: The Royal Tour by director Peter Greenberg.
New York audiences are typically, highly skeptical but this documentary and the interaction between Peter Greenberg and H.E. President Paul Kagame was truly extraordinary and their Rwandan adventures easily transformed the audience.
On film, for an entire week, President Kagame presented Rwanda at its very best. Director Greenberg is taken on a Royal Tour hosted by the President. “Mr. Kagame became the ultimate guide, showcasing the visual gems that his country has to offer. Together, they went gorilla trekking through Volcanoes National Park, jet-skied in Lake Kivu, explored Nyungwe Forest National Park on an elevated canopy walkway and saw a variety of wildlife during on a safari through Akagera National Park.”
This documentary has already begun to increase interest in tourism and is furthering the support of Rwanda development. The audience’s reaction was amazing. Before the movie began, the polite crowd spoke about Rwanda and her president in polite terms and commented on the encouraging progress that they had heard about in so many newspapers and magazines.
After witnessing the hour-long movie, the audience was in awe of the beauty depicted in the film and impressed with the devotion of the tour guide president, displaying Rwanda in such a truly innovative way.
I listened intently as many, many audience members whispered “Rwanda is so beautiful,” “I never knew Rwanda had so much to do and to see,” “this is not what I expected,” “look at the progress” and finally, “Rwanda has is all.”
What a proud moment. The audience left this documentary energized to experience the new Rwanda. Public Broadcasting in the United States has already begun to air the documentary on television.
To any proud friend of Rwanda, this film presented hard working Rwandan citizens crafting the new Rwanda through new opportunities in economic tourism and sustainable development, all brilliantly displayed by a passionate leader.
To unknowing tourists worldwide, this film is a fantastic depiction of Rwanda as the next popular tourist destination and probable business opportunity.
Once again, Rwandan beauty and innovation lead the way. Bravo!
The author is the special advisor in genocide and Holocaust education at the College of Education of the University of Hartford in Connecticut, US and the Director of the Rwanda Teacher Education Program.