USA/France, 2009, 80 minutes
Mon, Apr 27 / 8:45 / Kabuki / MYNE27K
Wed, Apr 29 / 9:00 / Kabuki / MYNE29K
Thu, Apr 30 / 4:15 / Kabuki / MYNE30K
Fri, May 1 / 3:45 / Kabuki / MYNE01K
Anne Aghion has spent over a decade documenting a small village in Rwanda where, since 1999, government trials called the Gacaca have attempted to move toward reconciliation and healing in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, where Hutus killed Tutsis on a mass scale using machetes and makeshift weapons. The Gacaca are open-air trials; perpetrators of the genocide are released from jail and move back to the neighborhoods where family members of their victims still live. Here, citizen judges try their cases and the women whose families have been destroyed are asked to find forgiveness for the murderers. Aghion punctuates her devastating narratives of recrimination and forgiveness with audio from local radio broadcasts and shots of the beautiful local landscape, which too easily covers over the traces of unspeakable crimes. The film’s unflinching eye carefully captures the resentment of many of the women, skeptical that these trials will lead to real justice and tired of hearing the denials of their killers. Nonetheless, when in an unbearably moving scene Aghion films a woman who commutes the sentence of the man who murdered her children and family, we confront evidence of an unfathomable capacity for human forgiveness. Aghion provides no easy answers, but the strength of this woman and that of many of the others interviewed in the film provides a glimmer of hope that, 15 years later, Rwanda is slowly seeing past the horrors of the genocide.
In French and Kinyarwanda with English subtitles. Presented in association with the Museum of the African Diaspora and Human Rights Watch. GGA Documentary Feature Contender. West Coast Premiere.