27 Sep 2011
Coexist is a remarkable independent documentary film examining the unique social experiment of reconciliation in Rwanda. It tells the stories of genocide survivors searching for ways to coexist with their loved ones’ murderers.
Earlier this month I participated in a panel event which followed a screening of the film, hosted by the London School of Economics (LSE). I spoke alongside Adam Mazo, executive producer and director of the film, and Dr Purna Sen, Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth secretariat. The questions that were raised at the event echoed those that the film challenges us to ask as well: What is the role of Government in promoting reconciliation? Where is Rwanda on the road to reconciliation? Can we coexist, re-engage, forgive, or even reconcile with those who harm us?
You can view the opening scenes of this remarkable film below:
The film documents the stories of an array of women survivors, who have made the extraordinary decision to reconcile with the people who killed their husbands and children, and others who understandably cannot bring themselves to forgive or reconcile. Survivors such as Domitilie, whose husband, also a genocide survivor, was the president of the local chapter of IBUKA, and was killed in October 2007 for his role as a judge in the gacaca court.
The experience has led Domitilie to conclude: “Is it possible to reconcile with the suspects? We wanted to reconcile but they couldn’t accept. Even now they don’t want to reconcile with us. Instead they are still trying to kill us.”
You can learn more about Coexist, and future screenings here.