Could you ever forgive the people who slaughtered your family? In 1994, hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Hutus were incited to wipe out the country’s Tutsi minority. From the crowded capital to the smallest village, local ‘patrols’ massacred lifelong friends and family members, most often with machetes and improvised weapons. Announced in 2001, and ending this year, the government put in place the Gacaca Tribunals—open-air hearings with citizen-judges meant to try their neighbors and rebuild the nation. As part of this experiment in reconciliation, confessed genocide killers are sent home from prison, while traumatized survivors are asked to forgive them and resume living side-by-side. Filming for close to a decade in a tiny hamlet, award-winning filmmaker Anne Aghion has charted the impact of Gacaca on survivors and perpetrators alike. Through their fear and anger, accusations and defenses, blurry truths, inconsolable sadness, and hope for life renewed, she captures the emotional journey to coexistence.
"Brilliant" — One of the Best Documentaries of 2009
“Deeply Moving”—Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
“Remarkable”—Lee Marshall, Screen International
“Excellent”—Peter Brunette, Hollywood Reporter
“Quietly devastating”—Kenneth Turan, LA Times
“An historic document of incalculable value, but also a superbly shot work of cinema”—Agence France Presse
"My Neighbor, My Killer" is an incredible documentary by award-winning director Anne Aghion. The film chronicles Rwanda's post-genocide efforts at reconciliation through the Gacaca- an open-air court system by which genocide criminals face the communities they persecuted and gain their freedom through public confessions. Anne's lens captures the daunting endeavor of bringing resolution and closure to a country still reeling from its painful past. "My Neighbor, My Killer" has been hailed as one of the most important films ever about post-conflict reconciliation and premiered at Cannes to rave reviews this past May.
There are several new and exciting developments I'd like to mention. New York's Museum of Modern Art will be showing the film on January 6th and 7th as part of its Contenders Series- featuring films it deems to be the best of the year and most likely to have a lasting impact. "My Neighbor, My Killer" will be playing at both the Maysles Cinema in Harlem from January 12th-18th and the Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 10th and 11th. The film is currently available on DVD. "My Neighbor, My Killer" saw an emotional end to 2009 with its screenings in Rwanda, which were met with wide approval. The film's success there prompted a separate screening for 600 women currently in a government-sponsored training program. "My Neighbor, My Killer" also played in Nairobi on Kenya's International Human Rights Day to demonstrate Rwanda's model of reconciliation efforts.
You can find further information as well as the web site: www.MyNeighborMyKiller.com
New York City: January 6 & 7
New York City: January 12-18
California: January 10 & 11
Paris: 26 January
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In the sea of docudramas and documentaries on the subject of the Rwandan genocide, few have explored the capacity of human beings to forgive as poignantly as My Neighbor, My Killer. The film, directed by Anne Aghion over the course of 9 years, focuses on the aftermath of the holocaust, the motivations for which seem long lost to history.For those less familiar with the details of the 1994 slaughter of threequarters of the Tutsi population in Rwanda at the hands of their Hutu neighbors, it is not... (continue reading)