Un dimanche à Kigali/A Sunday in Kigali

Based on Gil COURTEMANCHE's novel Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali/A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, the 2006 film Un dimanche à Kigali was produced by Robert Favreau, with help on the screenplay from Gil Courtemanche.

Un dimanche à Kigali/A Sunday in Kigali

Based on Gil Courtemanche's novel Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali/A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, the 2006 film Un dimanche à Kigali was produced by Robert Favreau, with help on the screenplay from Gil Courtemanche. The story revolves around the journalist Bernard Valcourt, who is sent to Rwanda to make a documentary on AIDS and gets caught up in the turmoil of horrific events involving Hutus and Tutsis that tragically leads to genocide. Disembarking at the Hôtel des Mille Collines, Bernard falls madly in love with the Rwandan girl Gentille, and viewers drift between scenes of their passion, the looming tragedy, and the wonderful Rwandan landscapes. When violence breaks out, Valcourt is forced to leave but he returns a few months later in search of his beloved.

Without being judgemental, the film leads us to the heights of pure passion only to fall back into the throes of sinister violence. Incessantly taken up with Bernard's quest, the film shows the many ways in which people cope with horror: some with cowardice, others with courage, and many simply with incomprehension in the face of the inexplicable. Luc Picard in his usual style is deeply convincing in the role of Bernard - wandering and completely overtaken by events - and gives an extraordinary performance. Fatou N'Diaye as Gentille amazes us with her beauty and sadness.

The film was shot entirely in Rwanda. It is the fourth one after the genocide and the first in French. More than 2500 extras took part in the production, including 60 in speaking and silent roles. On the set, 3 Rwandan psychologists were there to help those taking part who after only 11 years had to relive the horrors of the 1994 genocide.

Un dimanche à Kigali won Genie Awards (2007) for best screenplay (Robert Favreau and Gil Courtemanche), best costumes, best production and best soundtrack. It also won a Jutra for best soundtrack and a nomination for best film.