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We are delighted to share the Harvard Film Archive’s program of screenings for Kivu Ruhorahoza, the 2022-23 McMillan-Stewart fellow. This year, with additional support from the McMillan-Stewart Foundation, the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, and the Division of Arts & Humanities, Ruhorahoza is in residence at the FSC and the Hutchins Center for the entire spring semester and will be in person at the HFA to screen and discuss his phenomenal body of work. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at the Harvard Film Archive below each individual film screening description.

MARCH 31, 7pm
Father’s Day
Kivu Ruhorahoza in Conversation with Aboubakar Sonogo
Rwanda, 2022, DCP, color, 111 min.
Kinyarwanda with English subtitles.

In his latest film, set in Rwanda, in a COVID-19 context of confinement which, almost by necessity, invites an inward-looking gaze, Kivu Ruhorahoza takes us on an exploration of masculinity through one of its most institutionalized forms: fatherhood. In the film, he figures Rwandan societal debates around the interrogation of fatherhood in a post-genocidal context, one in which the hands that held the machetes and struck, the voices that aided and abetted, the gestures that betrayed and denounced were primarily those of men. This crisis of confidence in masculinity leads the director to place hopes for the future of the social polity squarely in the hands of women and children. Through three parallel stories of failed masculinity (failure to provide, to assume responsibility, to grieve properly, and the failing of humanity itself by a génocidaire), it falls on wives and daughters to potentially fork the path ahead, to create a new culture of conviviality by helping heal the deep wounds of the psyche engendered by male infamy.
Please visit the Harvard Film Archive website for full details and to purchase tickets.

About Kivu Ruhorahoza
Kivu Ruhorahoza is one of the most important filmmakers of the contemporary generation of African filmmakers and, arguably, the single most significant director in the history of Rwandan cinema. He partakes of an African cinema that is in a process of profound renewal, one that is no longer that of the founding fathers and mothers, but a twenty-first century cinema that is at once confidently globalized and seeks to bring out the specificities of an African experience as well as foreground the possibilities and indispensability of African readings of the contemporary world. Indeed, the richness of his cinematic discourse entails being able to say something about Africa, affirming the right to say something about the world as viewed from Africa, as well as being able to say something about the people who elect to say something about Africa and the world.

This desire to “speak” the world through cinema, and the place of Africa within it, is partly underwritten by the fact that, like most African filmmakers, he was born to find the screens of his country occupied by commercial cinemas from around the world and, thus, soaked in the cinemas of Hollywood, Bollywood, Hong Kong and Europe. Ruhorahoza was twelve years old when what is arguably the last great trauma on human conscience at the twilight of the twentieth century took place in Rwanda, his country, the Genocide of the Tutsi, a grand narrative of our times that profoundly and surreptitiously informs, resonates and echoes throughout his entire body of work.

As an international multi-award-winning filmmaker and artist, Ruhorahoza has, to date, directed eleven short and feature films that have screened globally at prestigious festivals including FESPACO, Sundance, Berlinale, IDFA, Tribeca and Rotterdam, among many others, while his installations have been featured at the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Institute for Contemporary Art in London, among others.

The eclectic cinema of Kivu Ruhorahoza is a cinema of questioning, one that uses interrogation along with critical and vulnerable self-inscription to blaze its own trail, in the hope of pointing to rays of light in the depth of darkness. As the title of his first film announces, this is a “cinema of grey matter,” that of a distinct cinematic voice that will be heard in the years and decades to come. – Aboubakar Sanogo, Carleton University