Cannes Festival, France (rushprnews) May 24, 2007- Presented in the Un Certain Regard section, Munyurangabo, as Lee Isaac Chung’s first feature, is eligible for the CamÃ©ra dâ€™Or award. The Korean-American director examines the Rwandan genocide and its current impact on the country’s youth.
After stealing a machete from a vendor in a Kigali market, Munyurangabo and his friend Sangwa leave the city to return to their village. Munyurangabo is seeking justice for the murder of his parents, who were slain in the genocide. Sangwa’s idea is to return to the house he abandoned years ago. Although the two boys had planned to stay for less than a day, they end up spending several days there. But, because they are from two different tribes, their friendship is sorely tried. Sangwa’s parents are mistrustful of Munyurangabo, and warn their son that Hutus and Tutsis are supposed to be enemies.
“Munyurangabo is the first feature-length narrative ever made in the Kinyarwanda language,” Lee Isaac Chung explained. “Actually, making a film in a foreign country, in a language I do not speak, was an advantage. It forced me to work as an ‘outsider.’ As a result, I was unable to express all my personal ideas and truths, which are relatively unimportant, making way for an exploration of the universal questions which might bring a Korean-American close to a Rwandan. I hope that as an audience, you will feel that, too.”