New movie ‘‘Izingiro ry’Amahoro’’ highlights Rwanda’s tragic history

For any history not to be lost completely with the years, it has to be recorded. Leopold Gasigwa, a film director, lives by this philosophy. He joined a number of people in and outside of the country to document the history of Rwanda with regard to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi through a documentary titled, Izingiro ry’Amahoro.
 Sports and Culture minister Protais Mitali  speaking at the movie screening.
Sports and Culture minister Protais Mitali speaking at the movie screening.

For any history not to be lost completely with the years, it has to be recorded. Leopold Gasigwa, a film director, lives by this philosophy. He joined a number of people in and outside of the country to document the history of Rwanda with regard to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi through a documentary titled, Izingiro ry’Amahoro.

Although the major killings lasted 100 days, in his documentary, Gasigwa shows that the ideology of genocide started way before.

The documentary starts by telling how Rwandans were peaceful people, living in harmony until the colonialists set foot on the land. The Belgians arrived in mid-19th century and things were never the same again.

The Belgians created divisions among Rwandans for their selfish reasons. 

On April 6, 1994 when President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down, the mass killings of the Tutsi by the Hutu started. This went on for 100 days until the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA) interjected, stopping the killings.

“I made a documentary to show the history of Rwanda but also to show my gratitude to the Rwandese Patriotic Army,” Gasigwa said.

In his film, Gasigwa, talks to the genocide survivors who are also thankful to the ruling party for saving their lives and giving them hope to live again.

The documentary is divided into two parts running for 40 minutes. The first part documents the previous events before 1994 that led up to the Genocide. 

The second looks at how Rwanda has moved forward after the Genocide. In both parts, the director talks to individuals who lived and witnessed events before and after the Genocide.

He says the main reason for his title of the documentary is so that people can give value to those that stopped the Genocide and share the plight of the survivors. “Instead of revenging, the victims decided that they seek peace; which calls for respect,” he said.

The documentary that has been worked on since 2006 has been screened twice to the public in commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi. However, this time around, it didn’t attract the desired audience on Friday at Sports View Hotel, Remera. Because there were a few people, the screening started two and a half hours late and ended at 10p.m.

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