Film Viewing

Yesterday we had the unique opportunity to view some of Eric Kabera’s films.  He is the founder and president of the Rwanda Cinema Center and is highly renowned in Rwanda as well as around the world.  He has done numerous films covering the genocide so we got to view one of these as well as a more positive one.

The first film we viewed was called Iseta: Behind the Roadblock.  It was based around the only recorded (on camera) killings of the genocide.  Out of 1 million murders, only the ones in the video are documented.  The film set out to discover who were the victims, the families of the victims, as well as the killers.  Throughout the documentary, there were interviews with the victims’ families as well as other survivors.  By the end of the film, we met the accused killers and most likely the man who did the killing of the people in the video.

The end was the most interesting dynamic for me.  The four men who were imprisoned and accused were all sitting one row ahead of the victims’ families.  Although there was some arguing/ discussion of which man did the killing in the video, it was a rather docile interaction.  They were really emphasizing the reconciliation aspect of the killings rather than getting revenge.  I am not an expert on the how the courts rulings played out overall, so I can’t necessarily give the best commentary, but through this video I was very shocked at how peaceful the interactions were.  I would highly recommend this movie and although very hard to watch at times, it provides a personal connection to one family murdered in the genocide and causes the genocide to hit closer to home.

The second movie we got a chance to see was called Africa United.  This was far more uplifting and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that it was very well done.  The movie features five kids trying to get from Rwanda to South Africa for the 2010 world cup.  The kids travel by foot, boat, car, and every other way imaginable.   The movies also tackles issues such as HIV/AIDS, child soldiers, and prostitutes but the issues are not presented in such a depressing way as the other film.

This movie is not released in the US yet although it was nominated for awards at the Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival.  I found it to be a very enjoyable film to watch and I would highly recommend it to everyone.



Chris’s Goals

Although like Daniel I am not very sure at all what I will be doing at the village, I have received some clues.  Things such as playing with the kids, reading to them, teaching them English, constructing buildings for the orphanage, planting an orchard, blogging, and taking photos have all been discussed.  I am very excited about all the discussed possibilities as well as for the unknown.

Many people in my major seem jealous when I tell them what I am doing this summer, but I can tell that my path is far from normal for my major.  Most people during their junior year summer are getting internships and preparing for their upcoming careers.  Without going too deep into my philosophy on life and the world in general, I have no interest in a traditional career.  Down the road, I may get a “real” job, but for the first 10 years at least I want to be living life as my job.  Whether that means volunteering at orphanages, in the Peace Corps or Americorps, backpacking across Europe, touring the U.S. on a motorcycle, or hanging out in Colorado enjoying the scenery I will enjoying life and not confined to a 9-5 job.

I love to help out other people and try new things.  I think there is far too much poverty and oppression in this world to not do something about it.  I know one person can’t change the world, but 1 less person in corporate America, and 1 more out working in the field I hope is a start.  Although my ultimate goal is to end up in South America to make use of my Spanish, I would not be surprised if I fall in love with Africa and don’t even want to leave.

I don’t really know what to expect on this trip or future endeavors in my life, but one thing is for sure: there will never be a dull moment.