Feel good factor

Reports, reports, reports… The Mutsinzi report, the UN report, the press freedom report, the Gersony report, the Commonwealth election observer’s report, that all important annexe from the report about the reports on the reports. Enough already. In a break from earnest, high brow misery and pontification, I bring you Africa United.

It’s a new film about a group of kids trying to make their way from Kigali to South Africa for the World Cup. It’s being billed as the “African Slumdog Millionaire” and was produced by a debut film maker Debs Gardner-Paterson, who has strong family ties with Rwanda.

When you read about Rwanda every day, you can get little tired of seeing the G-word, but as one review points out,

This funny, brave and delightfully bouncy fable sets out, successfully, to show there’s more to Rwanda than genocide. link

Indeed Gardner-Paterson says Rwandans she talked with told her the same thing,

“Lots of people in Rwanda said to me, ‘Please make a film that isn’t about genocide, please tell another story, something that is life-affirming’,” said the director. “Why do we have to engage with Africa just a couple of times a year, and that’s when we see sad faces on our screens to fundraise for? link

And the good news for Rwanda? The film will be screened here in the new year,

“We haven’t screened it in Rwanda yet,” said Gardner-Paterson. “We want to do it in the New Year to coincide with the opening of a FIFA stadium in Kigali. It seems appropriate to tie it in with football.” link

I hope to catch the film in London in November – will report back if I do. In the meantime, spare a thought for freelance journalist Steve Bloomfield, author of a book, also called Africa United. I bet he’s a little miffed at the name of the film and his possible slide in Google ranking. And lastly, in case you missed it, here’s my own little Rwandan World Cup football story,

Photo taken from the Kigali Wire Flickr account.

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