Kumva – Which Comes from Silence
Quietly and discreetly, the French director Sarah Mallégol follows a group of thirty-something protagonists who survived the 1994 Rwanda genocide as children. They have no memory of the events – neither those whose fathers were murdered nor those whose parents were responsible. A confrontation begins: focused conversations between generations which, captured by a gentle camera, are meant to cautiously break the long silence – in order to be able to understand, process and mourn.
Sarah Mallégol herself grew up in Rwanda, before the genocide. She has no memories of her childhood either. But there are home movies shot on Super 8 that show carefree days in a still peaceful countryside – and her nanny from back then, Christine. She died in 1994, which is all the director knows. Her motivation for this filmic search is thus personal. But after the short introduction, she gives all the space to those who live in Rwanda today with the trauma that has spread over the country like a shroud. Grief is at the forefront and the film work contributes to a much-needed coming to terms – accompanied by chants and landscape shots added to the memories of the survivors that bear a different form of witness.
Contains mentions of torture, murder