Set in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, this radiantly self-referential film-within-a-film describes the vision and trials of a determined filmmaker named Balthazar, as he tries to produce his first feature, The Cycle of the Cockroach. The trenchant drama, about a brother and sister dealing with the aftermath of genocide, finds no support from agencies only interested in funding upbeat policy-friendly films. As Balthazar borrows recklessly from a loan shark, the Cycle plays out on the screen, subtly measuring the horror and systematic madness of events hardly unique to Rwanda, while offering bracing insight into the nature of political violence.
“Young Rwandan director Kivu Ruhorahoza offers a searing political view of the minor metropolis’s cultural modernity and modest prosperity…Ruhorahoza reveals the quietly terrifying depiction of violence-induced madness to be the obverse of the policy of calculated, forward-looking oblivion; his brilliant ending distills the paradoxes of normalcy atop a volcano of blood into a single, stinging shot.” – The New Yorker
“A penetrating and artistic cross-section of a country’s shattered psyche…Ruhorahoza’s debut marks the very first feature-length narrative film directed by a Rwandan filmmaker living in his homeland.” ” – Tribeca Film Festival
‘Grey Matter’ is an official selection of the prestigious, award-winning Global Lens Collection presented by the Global Film Initiative. In Kinyarwanda and French with English subtitles.