Genocide is one of the most disastrous and regrettable actions known to man, but unfortunately in some parts of the continent, it has been a recurrent theme in the African experience. In the early nineties, there was a mass genocide perpetrated against particular Rwandan ethnic groups in which hundreds of thousands were slaughtered, and the region was thrown into disarray.? The country has since bounced back and has done an impressive job of rebuilding its economy. Many who lived through this era are doing a great job of telling the story, but also strengthening the institutions in place that have enabled peace keeping efforts.
Of particular note is Eric Kabera, a Rwandan journalist and filmmaker who seeks to prevent the repetition of such a violent history, by educating the younger generation about the evils of war and genocide. He produced the 2001 feature film 100 days in which he narrated the pain and agony surrounding one of Africa?s worst episodes. He took the first hand recollections from both perpetrators and victims of the genocide to articulately present a narrative of events as they unfolded. For Kabera, the genocide was all too real, as he personally lost over thirty members of his own family during the killings. Kabera later went on to produce Keepers of Memories a documentary which takes statements from convicted participants in the massacre.
Of Rwandan descent, Kabera was born in present day Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is using his talents as an accomplished documentary and feature film maker to change the face of film on the continent. ?He established the Kwetu Film Institute and pioneered the annual Rwanda Film Festival ?Hillywood?, a prestigious event that showcases the very best in local and international talent.
Kabera continues to produce more features including Alphonse?s Journey (2009), Africa United (2010) and more recently Intore (2014). He continues to support African film making through the Rwanda Cinema Center as well as the Kwetu Film institute, which trains Rwandans in the art and business of film making.