Unforgiven: Rwanda

What is a socially acceptable conversation when your family's killer sits down to dinner? "Unforgiven: Rwanda" explores the interactions between murderers, rapists, thieves and their victims and the power of restorative justice, forgiveness and reconciliation 20 years after the Rwandan Genocide.

A 10-minute version of the story will be featured online on Time Magazine (USA) and Zeit Online (Germany).

Also available as 52'

 

"Unforgiven: Rwanda" explores the lives of perpetrators and victims who experienced the traumatic events that began in April of 1994, when Hutu militiamen slaughtered over 800,000 Tutsis. The three victims featured in the film barely survived. The three perpetrators, one just recently released from prison, bear the burden of unimaginable guilt and social stigma. The scars of that event have resulted in deep psychological damage for all of the individuals involved and have created a deep rift between the ethnic communities of Rwanda that persists to the present day. Innocent was 19 years old when the genocide reached his village. When the killing began he fled into the forest but a mob of Hutus discovered and followed him. Brigitte was 17 when she was kidnapped and made a sex-slave. Shame and disgrace have followed her ever since. Claudine is the only member of her family to survive. She hasn't met Ananias, the man who killed her two younger brothers in almost 20 years. These victims and others are now being reconnected with the offenders through the shared ownership of a cow that they raise together and profit from. The perpetrators and victims, who under normal circumstances would have nothing to do with each other, now meet on a daily basis, share the milk between and amongst their families and even break bread together. These new relationships are tenuous and fraught with difficulty. Conflicts and confrontations arise as the respective individuals attempt to deal with the horrors of the past. However, in some instances, we begin to see how both the person and the nation is beginning to heal.