The long awaited film Imbabazi (also known as The Pardon’), directed by Joel Karekezi, was screened at the Kigali Serena on Sunday.
The 73-minute long movie was well attended and the screening hall was full to capacity. Among the guests was musician Jean Paul Samputu, Rwanda Film festival chairman Eric Kabera and the coordinator, Albert Rudatsimburwa of Contact FM radio.
The event began with an introductory speech from Nirk Raphael of the Goethe Institut, one of the organizers of the event. This was followed by a short performace by Samputu and finally the screening.
After the heart-wrenching movie ended, a panel led by Jean Paul Samputu, Karekezi and Rudatsimburwa discussed the movie and gave the audience an opportunity to comment and ask questions.
In 1994, Manzi and Karemera are best friends who seem to be inseparable, until the inexorable forces of history and violence tear them apart. After the death of Rwanda’s president Habyarimana plunges the country into genocide Manzi must choose between friendship and family. Karemera pays the horrific price of losing his family at the hands of Manzi’s greed for power and hate for Tutsi. After seeing his whole family perish right in front of his eyes, he manages to sneak out of these haters hands. Fifteen years later, news of Manzi’s release from prison throws Karemera’s life into chaos.
Karemera attempts to return his childhood friend to prison, while Manzi struggles with his own guilt. As the former friends search for justice and absolution, they both find themselves at odds with a society eager to forget the trauma of the past.