In English and Kinyarwanda with subtitles.
Running time: 100 Minutes
Distributor: African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AaFFRM)
Film Review by Kam Williams
Excellent (4 stars)
"The funny thing about genocide, you never know who’s knocking." That chilling voiceover just past the opening credits sets the tone for Kinyarwanda, a moving series of vignettes revisiting the 1994 Rwandan Civil War from the inside out. The movie marks the brilliant directorial debut of recent NYU film school grad Alrick Brown, whose emotionally-engaging ensemble drama made quite a splash at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year where it won the Audience Award in the World Cinema category.
Employing a cinematic technique effectively employed in Crash, the picture revisits the genocide in Rwanda from the perspectives of individuals hopelessly immersed in the conflict. The net result is an absorbing adventure which forces the audience to invest emotionally in the diverging fates of a variety of complex characters as opposed to the narrowly-drawn, one-dimensional characters usually served up in war flicks.
Based on actual events, it was quite surprising to this critic to learn the
role that Islam played in the cessation of hostilities once the mufti
ordered that all the nation’s mosques serve as safe havens for refugees,
regardless of ethnicity. Congrats to Alrick Brown for making the most of a
micro-budget and for coaxing great performances out of a cast comprised
mostly of unprofessional, Rwandan actors touched by the tragedy.
An inspirational, modern morality play apt to restore your faith in humanity.
AaFFRM (African American Film Festival Releasing Movement) in presenting
the New York City theatrical release of the film KINYARWANDA, winner of the
2011 Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Audience Award.