As South Africa celebrated the election of the country’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, and America mourned the tragic suicide of music legend, Kurt Cobain; a very dark chapter was being written in Rwanda’s books. The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi changed the lives of Rwandans forever. The gruesome events that left over 1,000,000 innocent people dead in a span of 100 days, have been told through songs, poems, plays and movies, from our very own Hillywood to Hollywood. Society Magazine’s Dean Karemera compiled some of the movies that have portrayed Rwanda’s horrific past.
My Neighbour, My Killer
My Neighbour, My Killer (French: Mon voisin, montueur) is a 2009 French-American documentary film directed by Anne Aghion that focuses on the process of the Gacaca courts, a citizen-based justice system that was put in place in Rwanda after the 1994 Genocide. Filmed over ten years, it makes us reflect on how people can live together after such a traumatic experience. Through the story and the words of the inhabitants of a small rural community, we see survivors and killers learn how to coexist.
In 1994, in Rwanda, Hutu militia rampaged through Tutsi homes slaughtering men, children and infants. They maimed and raped women--but left them alive to suffer having seen their husbands, children, parents and siblings beaten, bludgeoned, hacked to death. In the slaughter, three-quarters of the Tutsi population was exterminated.
A Sunday in Kigali
In April 1994, the middle-aged Canadian journalist Bernard Valcourt (Luc Picard) is making a documentary in Kigali about AIDS. He secretly falls in love with the Tutsi waitress of his hotel Gentille (Fatou N’Diaye), who is younger than him, in a period of violent racial conflicts. When the Genocide of the Tutsi by the Hutu in Rwanda begins, Bernard does not succeed in escaping with Gentille to Canada. When the Genocide ends in July 1994, Bernard returns to the chaotic Kigali seeking out Gentille in the middle of destruction and dead bodies but what he discovers leaves him changed forever.