Gender-based violence is a crucial issue that is still prevalent in many African countries. The theme is explored through a Rwandan-Tanzanian film project titled A Seed of Memory, which was produced and premiered in Kigali.
Directed by Richard Mugwaneza and Alexandre Sibonama, the 78-minute film released in June 2017, is by Samples Studio production. It explores the problems a married couple goes through.
Seven years into their marriage, the husband beats up his wife as he blames her for their failure to conceive a second child.
Her agony is seen in her tears and bruises across her face.
The violence affects their seven-year old son, who is traumatised from seeing his parents fight. He decides he can’t take it any more and runs away. This makes the situation between the married couple even worse.
The film looks at how violence affects a family from the father, mother, child, neighbour and extended family.
The film has scenes of violence and adult themes. There is also the television and theatre versions in a bid to reach a wider audience.
The film is produced in Rwanda and acted in Kiswahili. The cast is led by Yvette Mahoro, Willy Ndahiro, and Tanzanian actor Shiraz Ngasa.
A Seed of Memory premiered at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in July 2017. It was also selected at the Festival du Cinéma Africain in Morocco.
Through Azam Media, the film has been aired on Cinema Zetu, a channel on Azam TV since September 2017.
The project was partly funded by Azam Media at an estimated Rwf400,000 ($468).
The director of the film, Mugwaneza, said total costs of the project came to Rwf20,000,000 ($23,400).