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Behind This Convent

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News Release

Contact: Katharina Barbe, Foreign Languages and Literatures
(815) 753-6451

November 10, 2008

Director to screen award-winning film
on Rwandan genocide

DeKalb, Ill. — Rwandan film director and actor Gilbert Ndahayo will screen his award-winning documentary on the Rwandan genocide at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, in Lecture Hall 200 of Faraday West at Northern Illinois University. The free event is open to the public.

The documentary, “Behind This Convent,” tells the story of the tragedy that befell Ndahayo’s village during the hundred-day Rwandan Tutsi Genocide of 1994. The genocide claimed as many as 1 million lives.

At the age of 13, Ndahayo discovered the bodies of his family and those of 200 other villagers in a pit behind his house. Using the testimony of survivors, witnesses and the confessions of his father’s killer, Emmanuel, aka “Red Cross,” he captures a terrifying story.

“Behind This Convent” looks at the lives of the survivors and their personal struggles to come to grips with the genocide. The film also explores both the efforts of genocide survivors to find the remains of their loved ones and how the Rwandan justice system deals with the largest genocide in Africa.

Ndahayo’s documentary won the award for Best African Feature Film at the 2008 Zanzibar International Film Festival, where it was also named Best African Documentary.

After the screening, there will be an opportunity to talk to Ndahayo during a reception. The event has been made possible through support from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the Foreign Language Residence Program, the International House, and the Department of History.

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