61st London Film Festival

Polish cinema presented at the prestigious cinema celebration


5 October, 3.15pm
BFI Southbank NFT3
Belvedere Road
London SE1 8XT

6 October, 6.10pm
Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
99 Shaftesbury Avenue
London W1D 5DY

Birds are Singing in Kigali Dir. Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze, Poland 2017, 113min

Reeling with the psychological impact of the Rwandan genocide, Polish ornithologist Anna and her Tutsi friend Claudine embark on creating a new life. Claudine, the daughter of Anna’s colleague and a victim of the genocide, is accepted as a refugee by the Polish authorities. From there, the film deals with the parallel but differing effects of trauma. Underlying themes are gradually revealed, with the use of flashback and voiceover adding a powerful metaphorical context. Avoiding explicit accounts of the atrocities, the film’s exploration of ‘white’ and ‘black’ realities also exposes the bureaucratic and frequently inhuman obstacles faced by refugees. Their intertwined lives eventually find Anna and Claudine returning to Rwanda in search of the graves of Claudine’s lost relatives, and perhaps some resolution. Directed by Johanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze, there are powerful performances by Jowita Budnik (who starred in the directors’ earlier Papusza) and Eliana Umahire.

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