Monday, October 02, 2006

Un Dimanche à Kigali

Canada, 2006, 118 min, Color, 35mm
Directed By: Robert Favreau
PRODS: Lyse Lafontaine, Michael Mosca
SCR: Robert Favreau
CAM: Pierre Mignot
ED: Hélène Girard
MUS: Jorane
Cast: Luc Picard, Fatou N'Diaye

Un Dimanche à Kigali is a love story set in Rwanda in the spring of 1994. Bernard Valcourt (Luc Picard) is in Kigali, Rwanda's capital, filming a documentary on the state of AIDS in this country which refuses to acknowledge the disease. While staying at the Hôtel Des Milles Collines, a hotel favoured amongst expats, Valcourt falls in love with Gentille (Fatou N'Diaye), a beautiful Rwandan waitress.

During this time, tensions escalates in the country and the war (genocide) starts between the Utus and the Tutsis. Unable to get married, the couple gets separated while trying to escape the bloodshed and Valcourt gets stranded at the border, unable to extend his protection due to his foreigner status to Gentille. After a few frustating months, he return to Rwanda try to find Gentille. But with Gentille being from both Utu and Tutsi parents, her chance of having survived the war are very slim.

The movie is poignant and graphic, but I found it hard to really get into. I found that the dialog seemed artificial at points: it seemed more fit for writing than for every day speech. Some characters felt flat and I had a hard time really caring for the characters. This movie could have easily been a tear jerker but all of these little things made me not fully get into the story. By comparison, I enjoyed Hotel Rwanda a lot more and felt that the performances in that movie were a lot more powerful.


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