After stealing a machete from a vendor in a Kigali market, Munyurangabo and his friend Sangwa leave the city to return to their village. Munyurangabo is seeking justice for the murder of his parents, who were slain in the genocide. Sangwa's idea is to return to the house he abandoned years ago. Although the two boys had planned to stay for less than a day, they end up spending several days there. But, because they are from two different tribes, their friendship is sorely tried. Sangwa's parents are mistrustful of Munyurangabo, and warn their son that Hutus and Tutsis are supposed to be enemies.
"Munyurangabo is the first narrative feature film ever made in the Kinyarwanda language," Lee Isaac Chung explained. "Directing in a foreign country and in a language I do not speak was actually an advantage, forcing me to work as an outsider. This guards against the conveyance of any personal ideas and truths that are relatively minor, allowing, instead, for an exploration of more universal matters that can connect a Korean American with a Rwandan. I hope that this connection would extend to you, the viewer."
Photo copyright Déborah Corcos