Things have been so busy here in Butare that we haven’t even told you that a short version of the Inzozi Nziza documentary aired recently on the global television network Al Jazeera!
The documentary is the work of brother-and-sister film-making duo Rob and Lisa Fruchtman. We’ll keep you updated with their progress as they work towards releasing a full feature-length piece on the Inzozi Nziza and Ingoma Nsyha projects, but the chance to share their work so far with the world through Al Jazeera was one that they didn’t want to miss. As well as the film, Rob and Lisa also wrote an article for Al Jazeera about their experiences filming in Rwanda, which you can read here.
We don’t have much access to satellite TV here at the shop, so we had our own mini-screening on a laptop the following day. Thirteen of us clustered around the computer for the strange experience of seeing ourselves and our friends on television.
Here’s what our acting shop manager, Marie-Louise, had to say about the experience of watching Sweet Dreams for the first time.
What was it like seeing yourself on TV?
I think it’s nice, because what we’ve dreamed is real and is on show everywhere. If many people see what we do, they can know that the women of Rwanda develop themselves; they have a chance to see the women of Rwanda work hard, think of things that they can do themselves in a similar way. In many countries, when they think of Rwanda they just think of war. But if they can see us working now, they can change their minds. If the world sees that film, because they know Rwanda in bad conditions, they can see Rwanda in good conditions.
How has Inzozi Nziza changed your life?
Before working here, I didn’t have a way of earning money. Everything I wanted, I had to ask someone else. But now, I can have something I want and I can help my child and my family to live. I am thinking of going to school to help myself. In the past it has been hard for me to be happy. I don’t have my dad – how can I live in peace and be happy? But now, I have many friends here. I’m very happy. My life is full.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I like many things about the movie that Rob and Lisa have made. For example, the world can see what we are doing in Rwanda, from honey to milk, where we make the coffee. They can see the development of Rwanda and how we have good things here. For the women, they can see how they drum and show their happiness to everyone. They are very unified, and the drumming is helping us resolve our problems. We see in the interviews with Martha the problems that were here before, but also how we have made our lives better.