Rwanda genocide revisited at the AFI Fest Presented by Audi

Posted: November 10, 2011 in Comment

Some films such as documentaries are intended to educate. Others are purely for entertainment purposes and occasionally there’s a film that combines the educational value of documentaries with the entertainment value of feature films thus producing edutainment. Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece Schindler’s List is the quintessential edutainment film and this week as part of the American Film Institute’s 25th Annual AFI Fest, a world class international film festival currently taking place in the heart of Hollywood, in the World Cinema category festival participants were treated to a special screening of the award winning KinyarwandaThe title of the film is also the name of the language spoken in Rwanda and one of the objectives of the filmmaker was to give us a fresh new look at the 1994 Rwandan genocide and a progress report on how the people of Rwanda are healing from this very dark and grievous stain in their nation’s history.

There are actors in this film but there are also genuine survivors of the genocide. The film gives a voice to some of the people who committed atrocities. Some might avoid this type of film with the idea that it will be depressing but with underlying themes of forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption it represents truly inspirational and uplifting storytelling. One thing that is certain, there are pressing, relevent and difficult issues that this film tackles such as racism, prejudice, and Christian/Muslim relations. Every high school kid in the country needs to see it.

Writer/Director Alrick Brown took questions after the screening and one member of the audience asked him if there was anything going on in current events that he is passionate about and would like to comment on and he said, “I got into this game to change the world and I hope that every film that I do no matter if its action or comedy or drama or kung fu that it has humanity behind it…it’s not just focusing on one issue…we are fortunate to be working with the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement to have this in theatres.”

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