Public Narratives + Reparations in Rwanda: On the Potential of Film as Promoter of International Human Rights + Reconciliation

Everett, Derrick Alan | January 1, 2009

Principally, film has the potential to be a useful and appropriate tool of reparations. This essay relies upon theories on norms and on perceptions to identify how film can help to transform destructive public narratives into constructive ones.Films can enable this transformation by addressing the injuries of victims from a public fracture or tragedy through the successful (re)integration of international human rights-based norms and/or perceptions into the society’s public narratives.Films that successfully integrate into their fictional narrative international human rights-based norms and/or perceptions may be useful and appropriate as a tool for providing reparations.To illustrate this argument, this essay poses Rwanda as a case study and engages with two non-documentary, narrative films created about the 1994 Rwandan genocide: (2004) and(2005).