Friday, May 15, 2009

My Neighbor, My Killer

Playing at the Cannes Film Festival: My Neighbor, My Killer, directed by Anne Aghion

For someone I had never heard of before I started this blog, Anne Aghion is an extremely busy woman. Her film about the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, My Neighbor, My Killer, is showing at Cannes this week. From the film's press release:

At the core of the film are two survivors, Félicité Nyirasangwa and Euphrasie Mukarwemera, and two of the men accused in the killing of their families. The women are both Hutu widows of Tutsi husbands, whose children were considered Tutsi. Abraham Rwamfizi is a former low-level local leader who works to find his way back into the community on his return from prison. Vianney Byirabo, another suspected killer, gives matter-of-fact confessions that paint a chillingly vivid picture of how the genocide was carried out on that hill. These four people, along with others from their community, speak with an eloquence that can be poetic, profound and heartbreaking, and often terrifying.

As ordinary Rwandans try to make sense of the violence, the film grapples with age-old questions about humanity and inhumanity: What turns neighbor against neighbor? How do neighbors live together again after mass atrocity? Such universal concerns link this hill in Rwanda with Nazi-occupied Poland, with the Khmer Rouge’s Cambodia, with Bosnia, and with Darfur.

The movie's website has more information, and the New Yorker recently ran an interesting article on the same topic. (Annoyingly, you have to jump through some hoops to read the article, but I linked to an audio clip.)

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