"Between the 6th of April and the 4th of July 1994, the genocide of the Tutsis and the massacres of moderate Hutus killed about one million people in Rwanda. While massacres were perpetrated on a large scale throughout the country, in Ntarabana in northern Rwanda, Rugwiza Froduald and Mukankundiye Anne-Marie hid and protected Tutsis at the risk of their lives. Shortly after the end of the genocide, Murekaze Anastasie, a genocide survivor, found the strength to forgive and reconcile with those who had murdered her husband and children. "
How, in the face of these horror stories, can we escape from pathos, giving priority to listening and generating the desire to understand? François Woukoache achieves this with infinite delicacy. This is due to the distance he maintains with landscapes in still shots, often overexposed, as if unreal, while the testimonies are cleverly illuminated to highlight a person who is sometimes silent on the screen. The pauses allow us to breathe: whispered chants, bird songs, the blowing of the wind, consolation songs... "Trauma is somewhat alleviated when the tragedy is collective," says Anastasie Murekaze. "The problem is these thoughts that haunt us." It's all there: a generation for whom forgetting is impossible, carrying the heavy burden of reconciliation. It does not come without solid values. This film is all the more a tribute because, by deeply respecting the people it films, whether victims or executioners, it is forever inscribed in our memories.
Film critic and editor for Africultures
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