Note: Though Sundance ended several weeks ago, /Film reader Thomas Oliver alerted us that a movie he produced, Kinyarwanda, won the World Cinema Audience Award at the festival. Since none of us got around to seeing it, we figured it was worth taking a slightly-belated look at. Here’s the review.

In the past decade, winners of the World Cinema Audience Award, Dramatic, at the Sundance Film Festival include An Education, Once, Brothers and Whale Rider. Kinyarwanda continues in their tradition of simple storytelling done with skill and emotion. Written and directed by Alrick Brown, the film weaves together several different stories during the 1994 Rwandan genocide that was most famously portrayed in the 2004 Oscar nominee Hotel Rwanda.

The difference here, though, is that Kinyarwanda feels much more personal and intimate. That’s also its biggest flaw. Brown concentrates so acutely on each character and the links between them, it’s easy to forget the enormity of the situation at hand. But maybe that’s what the film is about. Maybe it’s less about the horrors of genocide and more about the appreciation and heroism that can come out of it. Read More »

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