NYT Q. & A.: Filmmaker’s Path From Rwanda to Tribeca

Still from Grey Matter by Kivu Ruhorahoza

“Grey Matter,” a feature film from the writer and director Kivu Ruhorahoza, represents the Tribeca Film Festival’s first movie from Rwanda by a Rwandan filmmaker. The film, which has its world premiere on April 21, blends fantasy and reality in its portrayal of the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda as seen through the eyes of a novice director struggling to make a film called “The Cycle of the Cockroach.” Mr. Ruhorahoza, 28, spoke recently to Arts Beat about the inspiration for the movie and its title, how Flaubert and Norman Mailer triggered his interest in storytelling, and why he chose filmmaking over practicing law. These are excerpts from that conversation.

Q.   How did “Grey Matter” come about?
A.  I wanted to start with a short story about two siblings who are experiencing trauma. Then I wrote another story about a madman who might have been involved in the killing of the parents of those siblings. It became one really long story. It was really, really experimental and not easy to understand. I tried to raise money. It became really frustrating. It had some elements of my own life. I was suffering to tell the story. So why not write about me suffering to tell the story? I wrote the part about a filmmaker who is not able to make a film that is so dear to his heart.

Felicia R. Lee, New York Times 04/20/11

Click here to read the entire interview.

About BFC/A

The Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions. View all posts by BFC/A

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