Friday, July 13, 2007

Rwanda: Love in Agony - Movie Exposes France And Restores Hope

13 July 2007 Posted to the web 13 July 2007 Ignatius Ssuuna, Kigali France is Jean Claude Habiyakare's villain in his new film, LOVE IN AGONY. The film, which will be launched officially in September, gives insight into how France acted in Rwanda's 1994 Genocide in which one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus perished.The film depicts the cruelty inflicted upon the Tutsis who are perceived to be in the league with the advancing members of Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF). Through the use of strong characters, France's part is clearly portrayed. The French at first have been able to deceive many people, including the international community that they have come to rescue innocent civilians. The scenes of the film send a message that the French are representatives of the oppressors, but as the RPF soldiers begin to advance, there is a sign that France and her cohorts are losing the edge. It also displays the participation of RPF soldiers in the stopping of the Genocide. Habiyakare, the film's producer says the film is trying its best to appropriately represent the RPF's role in rescuing the victims of the 100 days carnage by the marauding Interahamwe. "This is why we are producing this film. We have already approached government and many people support us," Habiyakare says at his office in Nyamirambo, a Kigali Suburb recently. Love in Agony is about the French's government participation in the preparation of the Rwandan Genocide by training the militias and supplying them with arms. It also highlights the appalling life many Rwandans are undergoing as refugees in the neighbouring countries. The main actor is a young man named Desire Bayigana who finds himself as a refugee in Uganda because of an ethnically divisive government. He asks his father many times why the family does not go back to their motherland. Bayigana then vows to go back, even if it means dying. The father explains to him the reasons why they are in exile and what he thought would bring this kind of life to an end. Life in the camp is tough but he cannot go back to Rwanda because as a Tutsi, he would be forced into an early grave. Meanwhile, in school, Bayigana is isolated and many of his classmates laugh at him for being a Rwandan refugee. One day, Bayigana secretly pays a visit to his uncle who is staying in Rwanda. In Kigali, he falls in love with a beautiful young girl called Dorothy. The two swear to live to gather till death does them part. But at the height of persecution of Tutsis in Bugesera, Kibirira and Mugina, Bayingana become conscious that silence without action won't bring any change in his country. He proposes a solution to the victims' desperate plight under the Habyarimana's administration when he inspires his girlfriend to join a struggle to the end the suffering of their parents. Meanwhile, his uncle's home is attacked and one of his cousin brothers has been brutally killed. Others who managed to escape hide in the bushes. He finally bids his girlfriend farewell and tells her he cannot remain silent to the evils being inflicted on the innocent civilians basing on their ethical background. In the event, Bayingana joins the RPF. But before he goes back to Uganda, the two lovers promise each other faithfulness. A betrayal of their good love means abandoning all Rwandans. In Uganda, Bayingana tells his fellow refugees that innocent people in Rwanda were being subjected to untold suffering. His father welcomed such a heroic decision. Like many combatants, he meets many challenges but he stood firm. In Kigali, Dorothy's family is massacred and her rapist only forgets to kill her. The sisters are routinely raped too. Sending Bayingana into exile and raping Dorothy is symbolic. It symbolises that though Rwanda's past had been 'killed' by the colonialists, the Genocide regime becomes busy oppressing the future generation. The film describes how despite the hardships, RPF was gathering those who managed to escape the brutal machetes. They are collecting bodies from trenches, pits, and banana plantations and taking them for decent burials. When the RPF finally takes over power, Bayingana was showered with joy to re-join his long-time lover. Despite the abuse inflicted upon her by the Interahamwe, Bayingana marries Dorothy and later are seen in a shopping supermarket with a kid they adopted living happily with his wife and family. He is also seen teaching prisoners' of war and uniting them in government. The film ends on reconciliation and unity tone, a sign of hope for the new government. The story teaches that those who are oppressed are supposed to struggle against the enemies of the people. Being brothers or speaking one language does not necessarily protect your rights.

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