“I thought we would never be able to speak again.”

Only a few people are aware of it, yet the Rwandan genocide claimed one million lives. A sensitive issue that continues to weigh on the people living there. Since the genocide in 1994, the population has been trying to come to terms with its history. “I thought we would never be able to speak again,” says one of the protagonists in the film “Kumva – Which Comes from Silence.”

The French director Sarah Mallégol doesn’t focus on Rwanda’s economy or politics in her film. Instead, we see people. We witness people grappling with their past and, in some cases, processing and grieving for the first time. Conversations between generations allow us to get very close to the protagonists and experience their story.

The focus is on the younger generation who were too young to understand what happened in their country in 1994. In the film, many of them speak with their older relatives for the first time, attempting to uncover their own history.

They suffer from what happened even though they were not a part of it. Living next door to those who took their parents is difficult. In addition to the conversations, Sarah Mallégol captures songs and landscape shots. “Kumva” depicts a search for the right words to describe the unspeakable.

We interviewed the director Sarah Mallégol.

Gesine und Miriam

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