Hughes: Don’t miss Munyurangambo, "far and away the best debut I saw all year"

Darren Hughes, a moviegoer whose recommendations have led me to some memorable and profoundly inspiring films over the last few years, has just posted about another one I’m adding to my must-see list.

He writes:

Munyurangabo was one of my favorite films of 2007 and was far and away the best debut I saw all year. I’m really eager to see what [filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung] does next.

His in-depth article about the film, which includes a conversation with the filmmaker, has just been published in Sojourners, and you can read the whole thing here. There, he summarizes the film as “a poetic and beautifully humane snapshot of Rwanda as it exists today, nearly a decade and a half after the genocide.”

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • looneytombs

    I saw Munyurangambo at the Toronto Film Fest last year and was fascinated by the Q&A session afterwards with Lee Isaac Chung. So much of the film came about from providence, from casting to locations – - everything. It’s a slower moving film than what we are used to in North America, but once you settle in to its pace, you find yourself truly transported to another world.

    As a screenwriter, what I took away from the film is how much one can convey with non-verbal communication. Every screenwriter is taught to, “show it, don’t say it” but most Hollywood films still end up “saying” everything. This film demonstrates exactly the opposite.

    This is a film that moves past the genocide itself, to the Rwanda that is trying to move on to a better future, difficult as it is. Most importantly it is through Rwandan eyes.

    Sadly this film flew right under most critics radar at TIFF. Perhaps set against a horde of celeb projects and big name boutique films it got lost in the glitz. I’m glad it’s popping up on the radar again now, it deserves all the attention it can get.


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