Award Winning Film on Rwandan Genocide Portrays Horrific “Terror and Bewilderment”

Depicting the violence and injustice of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the feature film “100 Days” was shown on campus Thursday in Kemper Auditorium. Sponsored jointly by the Center for Global Justice and the Community Service Office, “100 Days” is a story of love and brutality produced by survivor of the genocide Eric Kabera. Written and directed by British cameraman Nick Hughes, “100 Days” illustrates the intense domestic struggle in which the country’s ethnic majority, The Hutus, worked towards the annihilation of the long oppressed Tutsi minority. Setting out to create an impact, the movie tells the tragic tale of Tutsi lovers Baptiste and Josette and was completed in September of 2001. Suffering the loss of their families in a Hutu slaughtering, Baptiste and Josette survive only to suffer yet a deeper personal hell. With her boyfriend joining the ranks of a rebel force, Josette takes refuge in a Church supposedly protected by UN forces and unwillingly becomes a concubine of the Hutu Catholic priest. Finally reunited to face the truth, Baptiste and Josette decide to abandon the priest’s child that she is pregnant with. Although an account of fiction, beneath the story of Baptiste (Davis Kagenza) and Josette (Clephoas Kabasita) lies an astounding truth – each and every actor involved with the film are themselves, survivors of the genocide. Still bearing the scars of the oppressive and murderous events of which they were subjected to, all have lost family and all of them hope to send a message to the world. “100 Days was shot in Kibuye in 1999, a landscape of extraordinary beauty that had been the backdrop to some of the worst atrocities of the killings in 1994,” Mr. Hughes said in a press statement. He continued, “In Kibuye Church, which was the site of an actual massacre, Rwandan actors played killers and victims, parts that were too familiar to them.” Mr. Hughes said that he and four Rwandan investors put up the money and equipment necessary to complete the film. These investors had all lost countless family members in the massacre. “My producer Eric Kabera lost over 32 of his family, one Executive Producer lost his entire extended family of over 300,” he said. “There are thousands more that suffered more than I did,” said Mr. Kabera to the Boston Herald. He continued, “I’m advocating the people who cannot speak. There is no memory. This is the first memory of its kind.” Something that is expected from a former newsman, it’s the footage of “100 Days” that most touch the viewer’s soul. Scenes include images of a mother pummeled dead and a schoolhouse full of children doused with gasoline and set ablaze. In the words of one film critic, “The camera trains on the Tutsi faces, studies their terror and bewilderment, never giving us their stories but stopping short of making them mere faces in a crew.” Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2001, “100 Days” is the recipient for the Gold FIPA for original score and 3 Gloria Awards Nominations.