We watch a Canadian theatre company set up a stage in an open-air restaurant. Lightning flashes in the hills. The wind tips a stand of theatre lights over. Technicians race to grab the equipment. A French Canadian yells, “The rain is coming right now!”
Suddenly, the deluge is over and calmness returns.
It’s a passing moment that could have taken place anywhere, except this city is Kigali, Rwanda.
15 years earlier, the West watched as up to a million people were butchered in 100 days. Now, Rwanda is moving forward - a country in transformation.
But we in the West have never come to terms with this horror. The genocide remains a dark nightmare, something horrible that happened to those people, over there.
How hard is it to understand a history so different from one's own?
"People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can learn to love" - Nelson Mandela
In the spirit of Mandela's optimistic sentiment, Rwandan artist Kiki Gatese creates the Festival Arts Azimut - an arts festival aimed at 're-humanizing' Rwanda. She invites the Canadian play ‘Goodness’ along for the ride.
Goodness is a play about genocide.
The film takes the viewer inside the strange – sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking - scrappy world of a Canadian theatre troupe as they tour to Kiki’s theatre festival. There, surrounded by Rwanda’s horrific history, they attempt to connect with its people.
Will the festival succeed? Can the arts make a difference in the world?
Connections & Questions:
We went to Rwanda asking: “Why do good people rush to do evil?”
When we got there, we found a new question: “How do you forgive those good people?”
Goodness in Rwanda is about more than a mission to create a bridge through culture.
It’s an examination of the inexplicability of evil, the humble search for goodness, and the reality of forgiveness.
Sometimes you have to lose hope to find it again.
All you need is a pretext to connect.
Who we are:
Gord Rand and Tara Hughes.
We’ve devoted our lives to telling stories, through acting, writing, directing, filmmaking.
We met while performing in Michael Redhill’s play, ‘Goodness’. Acclaimed at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival, it won a Scotsman Fringe First and the Carol Tambor Award. It has since been translated and performed internationally. The New York Times called it “gripping and important”. The Herald called it, “a serious and profound rumination on the weight of moral responsibility in an unjust world.”
And in 2009, it was invited to Rwanda.
For the first time, we would be facing audiences with the experience of the thing itself, the experience of genocide. How would Rwandans react? With anger? With elation? With indifference? Someone needed to capture this experience on film. Gord and I decided to make it happen.
We fundraised for production costs, put our own savings on the line, and put together a crew to document this story.
The film is almost ready, but we need your help to finish it.
What do your contributions go towards?
Both our time and our savings have been stretched to the max. Crowd-funding enables us to raise small amounts of money from many people just like you, to help bring this film to theatres.
Making a feature film costs a lot of money, and the bulk of those funds are needed during post-production. We need to raise a minimum of $20,000:
$10,000 for final edits, sound enhancement, professional color correction, picture post
$5,000 for licenses, rights, & permissions
$5,000 for festival fees and minimal publicity
Those are modest totals. We can finish the film, market the film, enter into festivals, & produce DVDs and posters. It will give this film an international reach to as wide an audience as possible.
The Goodness You Get:
We have some great rewards – a book of photographs taken by performer/musician and photographer JD Nicholsen, a signed copy of the play by Michael Redhill (generously contributed by Michael & Coach House Press). A signed copy of the DVD with a random act of goodness performed in your name by Tara and her ‘Goodness Army.’ And we’ll be partnering with theatres and arts organizations to bring you some exciting limited edition perks as the campaign progresses.
If you care about how culture connects,
If you wonder about how the arts affect the world,
If you care about the human problem of genocide,
If you wonder about forgiveness in the face of terrible wrongs,
Please contribute however you can and help us spread the word!
Other Ways You Can Help:
Every donation helps, no matter the size. We are artists ourselves and understand it can be hard to give at times. We appreciate you and your support so much. Help us make this go viral - not only to fund Goodness in Rwanda but also inspire others to engage with arts and culture, tolerance and genocide prevention.
- Let people know about us by emailing your friends our link directly. http://igg.me/at/GiR
- Post our link on your Facebook page, website, blog, or twitter
- Like our Facebook page and suggest it to your friends. http://www.facebook.com/GoodnessinRwandadocumen...
- Follow & RT us on Twitter http://twitter.com/GiRdocumentary #cultureconnects #GiR
- Become a part of Tara's goodness army! Donate a random act of goodness to the campaign. Simply document your kind act with a photo and send it to us.
If you are able to support the film through corporate sponsorship or have any other ideas, please let us know. If you have any ideas for screenings in your community, please send them to us for our outreach campaign.
Every amount helps. No contributions are too small.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!