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God Sleeps in Rwanda
A film by Kimberlee Acquaro and Stacy Sherman, Narrated by Rosario Dawson
Rwanda/US, 2004, 28 minutes, Color, DVD, Kinyarwanda, Subtitled
Order No. W06899
Uncovering amazing stories of hope in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, Academy Award-Nominee GOD SLEEPS IN RWANDA captures the spirit of five courageous women as they rebuild their lives, redefine women’s roles in Rwandan society and bring hope to a wounded nation.

The 1994 Rwandan Genocide left the country nearly 70 percent female, handing Rwanda’s women an extraordinary burden and an unprecedented opportunity. Girls are attending school in record numbers, and women now make up a large part of the country’s leadership. Working with two cameras and no crew except for their translator—a genocide survivor herself—the filmmakers uncover incredible stories: an HIV-positive policewoman raising four children alone and attending night school to become a lawyer, a teenager who has become head of household for her four siblings, and a young woman orphaned in her teens who is now the top development official in her area. Heart-wrenching and inspiring, this powerful film is a brutal reminder of the consequences of the Rwandan tragedy, and a tribute to the strength and spirit of those who are moving forth.

** Emmy Winner for Best Documentary and Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Short!**


Emmy Award for Best Documentary
Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Short
Audience Award, Silverdocs/AFI Film Festival
Jury Special Mention, Silverdocs Documentary Festival
Audience Award, Palm Springs Fest of Short Films
Audience Award, Aspen Shorts Fest
Best Independent Mini Doc, Black Reel Awards
Critic's Choice Award, Jackson Hole Docuweek IDA
World Cinema Short Award, Phoenix Film Festival
Festival Award, Ojai Film Festival

  • Flickerfest International Short Film Festival
  • Artists for Amnesty
  • Bahamas International Film Festival
  • Pacific Palisades Film Festival
  • United Nations Traveling Film Festival
  • International Documentary Association, Docuweek
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center, Washington DC
  • Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
  • Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights
  • The Boston Museum of Fine Art
  • Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women
  • African American Women FF
  • Nominee, Distinguished Short Film International Documentary Association
  • Nominee, Pare Lorentz Award, International Documentary Association
  • Ladyfest, Chicago, IL

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    ”Women and children are often the first victims of armed conflicts, and the ones most overlooked. GOD SLEEPS IN RWANDA affords these women the opportunity to emerge from the shadows to tell their stories and inspire us with their courage and quiet dignity and, hopefully, compel us to act on behalf of so many victims.”
    Bonnie Abaunza
    Director, Artists for Amnesty, Amnesty International USA

    “…filled with gripping testimonies and haunting stories of one of the worst crimes against humanity of the past century… But rather than catalogue simple stories of desperation and loss, [the film] tells stories of hope, of renewal, of endurance, of family, of community, and, ultimately, of redemption.”
    John Prendergast
    Advisor to the International Crisis Group, Former Dtr. of African Affairs at NSC

    “Everyone must see this film of inspiration and human courage. It is our responsibility to pay respect to all the women who lived and made this film touch our lives, our hearts.”
    Lorraine Sheinberg
    Feminist Majority Foundation, Ms. Magazine Advisory Board

    “Outstanding.. inspiring. An incredibly powerful portrait of the courage of Rwanda's women.”
    Sandra Ruch, Executive Director
    International Documentary Association

    “Haunting and compelling…Highly recommend[ed]…can be used to support African and gender studies, as well as studies to analyze the psychological and sociological cause and effects associated with genocide.”
    Monique Threatt
    Educational Media Reviews Online

    “Recommended to both academic and public libraries for a human perspective on the genocide in Rwanda and its impact on the country and its people.”
    Beth Traylor
    Library Journal

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    God Sleeps in Rwanda is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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© Women Make Movies, 2005
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us