Kivu Ruhorahoza's arresting feature reveals a series of cryptic and loosely connected narrative shards. Each depicts an uneasy encounter between an African woman and a male figure of authority or menace, be he a nineteenth century white explorer, a twenty-first century Western journalist, or a Rwandan man performing reconnaissance for a shadowy internal agency. In each story, a female figure is an object of lust, surveillance, fascination, or violence, inevitably disappearing from the narrative. Every disappearance becomes a sort of chorus, punctuated by enigmatic images and haunting musical soundscapes. Considering the film's title ("aimless wanderer" originally described hapless European explorers), one might indeed ask whether the female avatar of these stories may be a metaphor for Rwanda itself: colonized, objectified, and struggling to calibrate cultural gains, including gains for women, with reactionary policies and sentiments. Such questions haunt the periphery of this provocative film whose narrative core remains a reservoir of mystery. —S.K.
Kivu Ruhorahoza's first feature, Grey Matter, received the Jury Special Mention for Best Emerging Filmmaker and Best Actor award, Tribeca Film Festival 2011; Best Director and Signis Award, Cordoba African Film Festival; Jury Prize, Khouribga African Film Festival; and Grand Prize, Tübingen French Film Festival. Ruhorahoza was the 2012 Rolex Mentor and Protégé nominee, and his project Jomo was selected for Cinemas du Monde selection at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, 2012 CineMart Rotterdam, and Boost! Binger Film Lab for script advisory by Molly Stensgaard.