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Birds Are Singing in Kigali

Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze
Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali
Poland 2017 / 113’
All The Cities of The North Everything Else

In this moving journey through trauma and mourning, the theme of Rwandan genocide resounds in two intimate portraits of women; it is cinema that, reflecting historical reality, touches on the most profound human experiences: the inevitability of death and the need for rebirth. The cinematography of Krzysztof Ptak (1954-2016), Józefina Gocman, and Wojciech Staroń evocatively establish the film's emotional aura, painting the screen with cool blues and earthy browns. Images of vultures devouring carcasses-life feeding on death-provide the visual refrain in a story that pierces right to the bone. A Polish ornithologist named Anna (Jowita Budnik), studying birds in Rwanda, manages to escape when the genocide begins. She takes Claudine (Eliane Umuhire), the daughter of a murdered co-worker, with her. The nightmare they experience isolates them from the world and one another, provoking conflicts and shocks. But pain is also the beginning of the long road to life after loss.

Małgorzata Sadowska


Locarno IFF 2016 - First Look Award; Karlovy Vary IFF 2017 - Best Actress

Krzysztof Krauze, Joanna Kos-Krauze

Until Krzysztof Krauze's death (1953-2014), he and Joanna Kos Krauze (born in 1972) were a couple-directors, screenwriters, and producers-who, over two decades, worked together on numerous original, award-winning films, such as My Nikifor (2004), Saviour Square (2005), and Doll (2013). They also worked together on Birds Are Singing in Kigali, which resulted from their experiences on a trip to South Africa and Rwanda. Krzysztof died during the making of the film; it was completed by Joanna.

Selected filmography

2004 Mój Nikifor/My Nikifor

2006 Plac Zbawiciela / Savior Square

2013 Papusza

2017 Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali / Birds are singing in Kigali

Cast & Crew

director Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze
screenplay Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze
cinematography Krzysztof Ptak (PSC), Józefina Gocman, Wojciech Staroń (PSC)
editing Katarzyna Leśniak
cast Jowita Budnik, Eliane Umuhire
producer Joanna Kos-Krauze
production Kosfilm, Odra-Film, TVP, Narodowe Centrum Kultury, Studio A
Polish distributor Kino Świat
language Polish, English, Kinyarwanda, French
colouration colour