New documentary offers lessons on post-genocide Rwanda

A new documentary dubbed ‘Lioness’, was on July 12, screened to guests at the residence of French Embassy’s First Counsular for Co-operation, Cultural and Development Affairs, Chantal Bès, in Kiyovu. The ‘Lioness’ trailer will be available on YouTube this Friday.
The president of the widow association Sevota Godelieve Mukasarasi. (All photos by Rodrigue de Ferluc)
The president of the widow association Sevota Godelieve Mukasarasi. (All photos by Rodrigue de Ferluc)

A new documentary dubbed ‘Lioness’, was on July 12, screened to guests at the residence of French Embassy’s First Counsular for Co-operation, Cultural and Development Affairs, Chantal Bès, in Kiyovu.

The ‘Lioness’ trailer will be available on YouTube this Friday.

According to the documentary, Rwanda is a green country, with beautiful mountains and its striking terrain has earned it the moniker the “Country of a Thousand Hills.”

However, the small landlocked East African country has a horrific history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over a million lives.

The director of ‘Lioness’, Fred Kristiansson,  says the aim of the documentary was to give a new vision of Africa: the one of a continent which does not only need help, but through which Europeans can also learn from.

“In 1994, the mass rapes used as a weapon made Rwanda one of the worst places for women rights,” he notes.

“Today, I believe that it is one of the safest. Thus, I started an investigation to understand this “Rwandan miracle”, to underline how the Rwandan women fought for their rights, with such a result in 17 years only,” Kristiansson said.

Kristiansson, however, stresses that the international press does not give enough credit to Rwanda.

“My colleagues don’t admit the fact that there is a Rwanda which exists in 2011. By saying that, I do not forget what happened in 1994, but I also say that Rwanda exists today, that Rwanda survived. And that we have to learn from its fight to survive.”

In order to achieve this, Kristiansson focuses his documentary on three fates, each epitomising the new Rwanda.

The documentary ‘Lioness’, portrays emancipation of women and features Immaculée Ingabire, who works for the UN and doubles as a spokeswoman for the Rwandan women on the international scene.

Other characters include: Godelieve Mukasarasi, the president of the widows association Sevota, who also implemented group therapies in rural areas, and singer/actress Shanel, who represents the new generation, and shows that Rwanda’s future is promising.

“The documentary shows the role of Rwandan women in the reconstruction of the country after the 1994 genocide,” Shanel says.

 “The 56 percent women representation in Parliament has been a major factor in protecting women rights – making Rwanda an example for respecting women’s rights,” she adds

Chantal Bès, says the purpose of the luncheon was to interact and show some of the things the French Embassy has been doing since its reopening, as well as French’s co-operation.

“This is great opportunity for us to showcase what we have been doing since we came back; we were very happy to come back to Rwanda,” Bès noted.

She adds: “My husband and I often organise such social events, where we invite people to come and share with us.”

The diplomat also lauds Rwanda for having the highest number of women in parliament.

During the event, French magician, Guillaume Vallée entertained guests.

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