RWANDA-17 is an inspiring documentary to commemorate the 20 years of the genocide and learn important lessons about reconciliation. The film tells the story of teenage African footballers from war torn Rwanda who managed to qualify for the 2011 Under-17 World Cup in Mexico. They are the first Rwandans who reach the level of world-class football. Their story is a metaphor of Rwanda’s breathtaking recovery after the 1994 genocide and shows how the success of young footballers – all born after 1994 – can re-unite a nation and inspire hope for reconciliation, development and a better future.
RWANDA-17 is presented by award winning reporter Sorious Samura who became well known for his filming of the brutal civil war in his home country Sierra Leone. Frustrated about the lack of progress in Sierra Leone Sorious wanted to find out how Rwandans managed to restore peace and rebuild their country more effectively.
Director Claudio von Planta and Sorious have previously collaborated on a number of projects, documenting Darfur’s refugees, the AIDS crisis in Zambia and Africa’s blood diamonds. Claudio and Sorious seek to highlight injustice and ignorance, but also give credit to positive developments. Set in the context of Rwanda’s well documented horrors, RWANDA-17 is a success story that deserves a chance to be told.