Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

FILM FINDS - Munyurangabo


This just in...

indieWIRE reports that Munyurangabo has been acquired for North American release by Film Movement.

Directed by Lee Isaac Chung, Munyurangabo explores the lives, adventures and travails of two Rwandan teenagers. It is the first narrative feature shot in the native Kinyarwanda dialect, and its entirely non-professional cast and crew consisted of “genocide orphans, returned refugees, and other undereducated locals barely making a living in the village where the film was shot.”

The film premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, and was also selected for the Berlin International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and New Directors/New Films, among others, in 2008.

It will open in theaters in late May, 2009.

Revered films about under-represented, marginalized groups, produced by whites are certainly nothing new. But it's a rare occurrence when a member from one minority group makes a film about members of another minority group, other than their own.
Filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung is the son of Korean immigrants, and Munyurangabo, a story about a road trip to revenge, set in Rwanda, starring Rwandans, is his first feature film.

I'm always ambivalent about scenarios like either of the above, for fear that the lens through which the filmmakers, often in a power position, see the characters and/or locations in their films, will be an exploitative or "exotified" one.

But I know nothing about the film, other than what you see here, and I'll certainly be following it from henceforth, now that I've been made aware of it.

Here's its trailer:



  1. The Sujewa said...

    Read quite a bit about this film back in '08 - i don't think we really have to worry too much about people being portrayed in a distorted/negative manner by outsiders, here's an interview link w/ the director that i blogged about many moons ago:

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