Sweet Dreams: A Documentary Film Screening

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Sweet Dreams: A Documentary Film Screening
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Sweet Dreams: A Documentary Film Screening says
In 1994 Rwanda suffered a devastating genocide. Close to a million people were killed by neighbors, friends, even family. Horror swept the land. And when it was over, those who remained were broken, dead inside.

The country has made great strides in economic recovery, but "people are not like roads and buildings" says Kiki Katese, pioneering Rwandan theater director. "How do we rebuild a human being?"

Kiki decided to start Ingoma Nshya, Rwanda's first and only women's drumming troupe, open to women from both sides of the conflict. There was only one requirement: to leave the categories of the past at the gate.

For the women—orphans, widows, wives and children of perpetrators—the group has been a place to begin to live again, to build new relationships, and to heal the wounds of the past. Previously, cultural taboos prohibited women from even touching a drum. But now, former enemies were experiencing joy and happiness together – through drumming on borrowed drums.

Yet the struggle to survive and provide for their families still persisted. So when Kiki came up with the idea to open Rwanda's first and only ice cream shop, the women were intrigued. What was ice cream exactly and how would they do it? Kiki invited Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen of Brooklyn's Blue Marble Ice Cream to come to Rwanda to help the drummers open their shop, which they aptly named Inzozi Nziza (Sweet Dreams).

The women learned about business, sourced ingredients locally, took finance courses, and earned income. As one man says, “If you are bringing development to the woman, you are bringing it to the whole family.”

“Sweet Dreams” follows this remarkable group of Rwandan women as they emerge from the devastation of the genocide to create a new future for themselves. It is a deeply moving story of forgiveness and resilience, of healing and empowerment.

Sherry Gingras and her all-female drumming group, the Drumsistas will perform prior to the screening.

RSVP via facebook as theatre seating is limited.
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By: George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center

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