The Spirits of 1000 Hills


2° 'LIBERO BIZZARRI' AWARD

Va EDIZIONE PREMIO NAZIONALE DOCUMENTARIO ITALIANO


SILVER SPIRE AWARD

41° SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL



54th VENICE BIENNALE

OFFICIAL SELECTION

Directed by Isabella Sandri  / creative documentary / prod. Gaundri srl in collaboration with Edilight and Palomar / 40 min. / Beta SP / year 1997 / Italy

I wrote some words to add impressions, notes, informations to the last images, as well as I did in the rest of the work. In these images there are some children remained alone. They are very young and they take care of other babies younger than them. In the beginning I edited those words there, but after I removed them. I’ve lost them on the way. Right words cannot exist, they have not to exist; nobody has to learn, create, use some words to understand, to handle, to fix, to describe this pain. That is, the pain of two genocides. So the only thing that remains is a mood without sun and colours. Like an unfair and unending rainy day.

Synopsis

March-April 1997: some of them managed to return home alive. Very few, out of the two million who fled their country three years before. They are Hutu women arriving to Gisenyi, on the Rwandan border. They are coming from ex-Zaire (now the Congo Republic), having travelled hundreds of kilometres on foot. They have lost their children. Incredibly, they have managed to survive the attacks of Kabila’s rebels – and other soldiers whose identity is unclear but all of Tutsi origin – in the refugee camps, the rivers and the equatorial forests. The attacks were programmed, intended to weaken a people vulnerable and defenceless.

In Kigali, on the other hand, live the other survivors, those who escaped from the massacre of 1994. They are the Tutsi women. They have tried to rebuilt their lives, their families, their houses. They have learnt the art of bricklayer, learnt to square corners and mix cement and now they are brickmakers.

Hutu and Tutsi women recount the experiences of the last three years, after the genocide of April to July 1994. They are tales of horror which should not be ignored even if the rainy season washes away the signs of repeated murder. Even then, in 1997, every month, more than five hundred people were killed feeding the uninterrupted river of death in the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ as Rwanda is called.

Credits

Story and screenplay  Isabella Sandri

Photography and camera  Isabella Sandri

Editing  Erika Manoni

Music  Epsilon Indi

Production organizer   Monica Sandri,  Alessandro Bolzoni

Production and Distribution coordinator   Giovanni Saulini

Post production assistant  Vincenzo Saccone

Sound Post-production   S.A.M. by Mirco Mencacci

Sound Mixer   Stefano Campus,  Alessandro Feletti,  Paolo Segat

Produced by Giuseppe M. Gaudino for Gaundri, in collaboration with Edilight and Palomar

Cast

The Narrator   Diego Ribon

and with:

Violette

Annonciate

Anastasie

Marie

and the women of the Association  ‘Barakabaho’ of Kigali (Rwanda)

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