The horrific 1994 civil war in Rwanda left survivors depressed and in a state of shock. They had seen fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, relatives and community members raped, tortured, and hacked to death by machetes. The Hutus killed around 800,000 Tutsis and lost 200,000 of their own people. Hotel Rwanda told the story of this genocide and the ways in which it tore the country apart as the rest of the world stood by and did little to stop the slaughter.

In this up-tempo documentary directed by Lisa and Rob Fruchtman, theatre director Kiki Katese, a survivor of the conflict, decides to do something positive to take away the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness of the women in her circle. She asks: "How do you rebuild a human being?" After much thought, this dynamo organizes Ingoma Nshya (meaning "new drum, new kingdom"), an all-female drumming troupe made up of both Tutsis and Hutus who are looking for a way out of their nightmarish past. Watching 60 women beating their drums (obliterating a tradition that only allowed men to do so), we sense the energy of new life coming alive in these survivors.

Katese also initiates a co-operative venture with Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen, owners of Blue Marble Ice Cream in Brooklyn, New York. After some obstacles and setbacks, Inzozi Nziza (Sweet Dreams), Rwanda's first ice cream parlor, opens.

Hats off to the boldness and the vision of Kiki Katese, heroine for her people.

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