In the aftermath of Rwanda's frenzy of genocide in 1994, some 100,000 accused individuals swamped the contry's incapacitated justice system. The new government's response has been to renovate an old tribal custom dating back to the time when village elders sat on a hill in judgment. Described as a 'citizen-based tribunal', the Gacaca (pronouned 'Ga-cha-cha') posits an entire village as both prosecutor and judge. The film shows only a couple of rudimentary proto-trials that suggest the assembled 'judges' are more at risk of being led by the nose by the minister pushing the proposal than of regressing toward mob justice. Much of the film is spent recapitulating the horrors inflicted and expounding the pain and sorrow that endures for the survivors. Powerful material, of course, but it's stiched together with no very apparent organising principle.
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