Sweet Dreams Rwanda


Academic Endorsements

This compelling chronicle blends history, tragedy, hope, and joy as it portrays a rebuilding of Rwanda...The women’s stories are engrossing and heartbreaking, the music is joyful, and the passion is contagious.
VERDICT: A powerful portrait of a committed group of people changing their world.

- Library Journal Review

Sweet Dreams is a must see film. The filmmakers take a straightforward story —the opening of an ice cream shop — and transform it into a moving piece about reconciliation, resilience, and determination. Mixed with an incredible soundtrack, this film is sure to spur an important discussion about the healing power of hope after an unthinkable tragedy.

- Temple Northup, Assistant Professor, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, University of Houston

I screened Sweet Dreams several times for my university, and the universal reaction was very positive… My field, social psychology, helps us understand how genocides occur. Yet how to heal after a genocide is not well understood. The women in the drumming troupe show us what the first steps on the path to recovery look like. The film can serve as a starting point for discussions of genocide, healing, resilience and other related topics. I promise that those who see the movie will be genuinely moved.

- Dr. William J. Froming, Provost, Palo Alto University

I want to express my gratitude for allowing Sweet Dreams to premiere at the United Nations as part of the annual commemoration of the Rwanda genocide on 12 April. Your film gave this year’s theme, ‘Learning from history to shape a better future,’ even more relevance, by showing how women are coming together to heal the wounds of the past and create a new future of peace and possibility. The feedback we have received has been excellent, and I feel certain that your work will continue to inspire people the world over.

- Maher Nasser, Head of the Dept of Public Information, United Nations

A brilliant story of healing and hope in post-conflict Rwanda.

- Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez – Assoc Prof. Media Studies and Human Rights, Bard College

Sweet Dreams offers a compelling view of a success rising from the ashes of tragedy. The film allows students to begin exploring a tough topic and will reassure them that positive outcomes are possible, even in the worst situations imaginable.

- Robin Levin, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher/Fellow, School Library Journal DVD PICK

Twenty years ago, in 1994, while the world, including the U.S., stood by, nearly a million Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus were brutally exterminated. Sweet Dreams honors these lost lives, along with the lives of those with the unfathomable task of living after the genocide. …Their voices, sometimes joyful, sometimes so overcome that they are barely audible, speak in the tonal beauty of their native Kinyarwanda. I invite you to listen carefully to them, to their stories, their music, and their “Sweet Dreams.” Screening Sweet Dreams, with a discussion afterwards with co-director Lisa Fruchtman, was an important, meaningful event for our campus community.

- Kirsten M. Christensen, Dept of Languages and Literature, Affiliate Faculty, Program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies,
Pacific Lutheran University

The survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda were left with bitter memories and a country torn in half. In this upbeat program, theater director Kiki Katese forms Rwanda’s “first and only women’s drumming troupe.” Building on their success, the determined women decide to open an ice-cream shop. Setbacks leading up to the store opening include mechanical problems and other issues, but the women carry on, continuing to dance, drum, pray, and persevere. Although scenes of customers getting their first tastes of ice cream are a treat, the real delights are the reactions of those who made it happen.

- Booklist

Sweet Dreams is a hopeful but not rose-tinted film revealing the complexity of post-genocide reconciliation in Rwanda. The storyline captures the imagination of students. Highly recommended.

- Jay Carney, Creighton University, author of "Rwanda Before the Genocide: Catholic Politics and Ethnic Discourse in the Late Colonial Era"

The story your beautiful film captures has an enduring quality. The synergy between the screening and your talk-back is the kind of uniquely constructed event to meaningfully impact a-day-in-the-life of a teenager.It was an evening to be remembered for all of us who attended.

- Karen Balliet, Locus Analytics, student internship program

The film was absolutely beautiful! Our community was very inspired, and it actually started a healthy dialogue about racism within our own community. Thank you for creating this inspiring film and telling the story of these amazing women.

- Amelia Schulz, Feather River College, Quincy CA

Sweet Dreams beautifully demonstrates how women can change their lives through collaboration and creativity despite poverty, war, politics or religion. This film is a fantastic way to encourage a dialogue about these issues. I would encourage any school to host a screening and discussion of Sweet Dreams. Our students and faculty are still talking about the powerful message it sent.

-Tanya Kalischer, Director of Student Activities, Miss Hall’s School, MA

It is a great pleasure to recall the enthusiastic reception of your film during the “Arts That Do Justice” symposium at Loyola Marymount University… We are all in your debt for having told this story in such an eloquent and affecting way.

- Paul Humphreys, Associate Dean, College of Communication and Fine Arts, Loyola Marymount University

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