Namibian Premiere of the Rwandan Feature “Imbabbazi – The Pardon”, Saturday, 26 April 2014 at 7 pm, Goethe-Centre Windhoek

AfricAvenir is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1994-Rwandan Genocide in April 2014. On this occasion AfricAvenir invites to the Namibian Premiere of the Rwandan film „Imbabazi – The Pardon“ at the Goethe-Centre Windhoek on Saturday, 26 April 2014 at 7 pm.

The film “The Pardon” was directed by Joel Karekezi, and produced by Veronique Doumbe in 2013. The film length is 73 minutes.

On 24 March 2014, the film was awarded the Nile Grand Award (4000 USD and Golden Tutankhamen Award) at the 3rd Luxor African Film Festival.

In February 2014, the film also won Best Director and Best Film in A Thousand Hills Academy Awards.

Entrance: 30,- N§nTrailer:
Best friends Manzi and Karemera find themselves on opposing sides in Rwanda’s ethnic civil war, with Tutsi Karemera’s family paying a horrific price for Manzi’s allegiance to his Hutu heritage. Manzi is elevated to the position of local leader and is unable to withstand the peer pressure when the genocide begins. He kills Karemara’s father and younger brother. When Manzi is released from prison fifteen years later, his return re-opens old wounds. Filmmaker Joel Karekezi draws from his own experience as a survivor of Rwanda’s violence in creating this moving account of two former friends who must contend with the unimaginable horrors in their past.
The film intercuts between present day and the time just before and during the genocide.

Joel Karekezi:Director’s statement:
Joel Karekezi describes his film as an exploration of the question of whether reconciliation and forgiveness is possible in a country in which the murderers and the victims continue to live together and side by side in their everyday life and need to come to terms with unimaginable crimes. The film is not only based on the true historic facts of the Rwandan Genocide, but even more intensely on the personal experiences of director himself who was living in Rwanda in Gisenyi near Lake Kivu during the genocide when his father was killed, right there on the shores of the lake where today tourists can go on safaris and businessmen can hold conferences in luxury hotels and modern facilities. In pursuing this film project Joel Karekezi completes his personal mission to turn the pain inflicted on his family into new possibilities for Rwanda’s future. Karekezi’s belief that forgiveness will open up new paths for a better and peaceful future of the country is still challenged by the lingering consequences and repercussions of a crime of unimaginable horror both in its extent and characteristics.

“As a Rwandan film director, I wanted to tell the story of the aftermath of the 1994 Tutsi Genocide. “Imbabazi – The Pardon” is very different from other films about the genocide. The story is told through the eyes of Rwandans and Africans and focuses on the search for resolution and forgiveness, which I hope will bring the audience a greater understanding of our history. I chose to tell this story by focusing on the characters rather than historical events. The central relationship of the film – the friendship and tragic separation of Karemera and Manzi – tells the larger story of the Tutsi Genocide. I am a genocide survivor myself, which is why I wanted to explore not only Rwanda’s past but also Rwanda’s future. The tone of the film is hopeful, looking towards reconciliation and a brighter future for the next generation of Rwandans. I drew on my own personal experiences as a Rwandan and a genocide survivor to help the actors identify with their characters. I wanted to bring this story to the screen in a natural way so that the focus would be centered on the characters and their journey. I worked with my sound team to recreate the auditory environment of Rwanda on film. I also wanted to use Rwandan musical elements in the soundtrack. As an African and Rwandan director, I am proud to have helped bring this story to a wider audience. I was honored to work together with my team through pre-production, production & post-production to bring this story to life. I hope that audiences will embrace the message of hope and forgiveness that is at the heart of “Imbabazi – The Pardon”.

The film series African Perspectives is supported by AfriCine, WhatsOnWindhoek, Turipamwe Design, and the Goethe-Centre Windhoek.            


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