News Birds at the time of the Rwanda genocide

Published: July 04, 2017| 07:00 PM

The last film of the creative duo who won the Crystal Globe in 2004 with My Nikifor had to be brought to Karlovy Vary only by Joanna Kos-Krauze. Her husband Krzysztof Krauze sadly succumbed to a grave illness during the completion of The Birds Sing in Kigali. The drama, accepted into the main competition, describes how a Polish ornithologist, together with her African colleague’s surviving daughter, tries to come to terms with the trauma of the Rwanda genocide of 1994.

“We also should feel some responsibility for these events. At the time of the murderous rampage in Rwanda and Bosnia, America was more interested in the O. J. Simpson trial,” the director said, highlighting the importance of such stories. Although the Rwandian costume and art director Claudine Murenzi pointed out that the country has moved on and recovered, with its streets full of people having a drink, a good time, discussing football or love as anywhere else, she agrees that the world should not turn a blind eye to human suffering: “Now the murdering goes on in neighbouring Burundi, but you may be unaware of that too. And I feel helpless.”

Asked why she filmed such a rough story in a laconic style, Kos-Krauze's reply at the press conference was: “After a genocide, everybody becomes speechless, the experience is difficult to describe. After something like that comes silence. So the film does not use many words either.”

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