Courage and Forgiveness Shine Through the Horror of Genocide

Kinyarwanda speaks to the power of collective action to defend human rights and demand peace

Oct 22, 2012, 08:00 ET from SnagFilms

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Muslim Public Affairs Council Hollywood Bureau (MPAC) will present a screening and panel discussion of the critically acclaimed film, Kinyarwanda, in Washington, D.C. at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, October 24. Co-sponsored by SnagFilms and the U.S. Department of State Office of International Religious Freedom, the event will be hosted by the Georgetown University African Studies Program on campus at the Lohrfink Auditorium. The panel, moderated by Columnist and MSNBC Contributor Karen Finney, will feature Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Pelletier, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Africa Director Randy Fleitman, Writer/Director Alrick Brown and Lead Actress Hadidja Zaninka.

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Winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Audience Award, Kinyarwanda was rated four stars by Roger Ebert, who said, "I thought I knew something about Rwanda, but I didn't really know very much. I was moved by Hotel Rwanda but not really shaken this deeply. Not like this. Here is a powerful film."

Based on true accounts from survivors, Kinyarwanda provides a stunning example of the power that both religious leaders and ordinary people can wield to defend human rights and demand peace in the face of unspeakable brutality. At the time of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Mufti of Rwanda, the most respected Muslim leader in the country, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from participating in the killing of the Tutsi. As the country became a slaughterhouse, mosques became places of refuge where Muslims and Christians, Hutus and Tutsis came together to protect each other.

"This film resonates with MPAC and our supporters in a meaningful way," said MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati. "The ultimate message is one of love, peace and forgiveness, which is the foundation of every faith. It's an important example of human beings responding with their best in the face of impossible circumstances."

Following its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Kinyarwanda has enjoyed critical acclaim and a growing list of awards, including being nominated for the 2012 NAACP Image Award in Film and TV, and winning the World Cinema Audience Award at AFI Fest. Kinyarwanda also received the Voices of Courage and Conscience Award at the 2012 MPAC Media Awards.

"The world reacted too slowly to Rwanda's horror in 1994 and may be unaware of its hopefulness since," said Rick Allen, SnagFilms' CEO. "Kinyarwanda is a powerful tale of both horror and hope. We are proud to be bringing such an important and compelling film to the broadest possible audience." Adds Georgetown University African Studies Program Director Scott D. Taylor, Ph.D., "This is a very important film and Georgetown is pleased to have the opportunity to present it on campus and stimulate awareness. We look forward to a fruitful discussion."

Kinyarwanda is distributed by SnagFilms and is available to buy or rent on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Xbox LIVE and VUDU.

About SnagFilms

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Zanna Gilbert


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