Below is a summary of movies about Rwanda's culture, history, and wildlife.


(1981) Are humans the only hope for the survival of the mountain gorilla? National Geographic's Gorilla attempts to answer this question. As human populations infringe upon their natural habitat and poachers continue to hunt, the gorilla has found allies in scientists and humanitarians across the globe. In Rwanda we watch Diane Fossey and others lead the effort to protect the gorilla from poaching so it may survive in its natural environment. In the U.S. we follow zookeepers and researchers as they attempt to save the gorilla in captivity through means of strictly controlled reproduction. It is difficult to tell where the best interests of the gorilla lie--in the wild where it is free but threatened by new enemies daily or in captivity where it loses its heritage and becomes accustomed to, at worst, small cages of concrete and iron or, at best, palatial dwelling spaces closely akin to its natural home. While presenting an engaging look at our closest relatives, this film tackles tough questions that have no clear answers.

Gorillas in the Mist

(1988) The story of Dian Fossey, a scientist who came to Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, and later fought to protect them.

The Gorilla King

(2008) NATURE retraces the life of Titus, silverback leader, from birth to present reign, spanning a tumultuous period in the history of a species and a natio
n. Updates on Titus, his  family tree, and video clips can be seen on the NATURE website.

The Gorillas of My Grandfather

(2004) In 1902, German army captain Robert von Beringe shot a mysterious black creature while climbing an unexplored volcano in Central Africa. A hundred years after the discovery, Robert's Grandson, Andreas sets out on a journey to retrace his Grandfather's adventures and to reveal the whole story of the mountain gorilla. Filmed and directed by Adrian Warren. Also released in Austria as "
Die Gorillas meines Großvaters"


Pre-Genocide era

  • Day One- Gorillas in Crossfire

Genocide era

Hotel Rwanda

(2004) The true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Ghosts of Rwanda
FRONTLINE marks the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide with a documentary chronicling one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. In addition to interviews with key government officials and diplomats, the two-hour documentary offers groundbreaking, eyewitness accounts of the genocide from those who experienced it firsthand: from Tutsi survivors who recount the horror of seeing their friends and family members slaughtered by neighbors and coworkers; to the UN peacekeepers stationed amid the carnage who were ordered not to intervene; to those holding positions of power at the White House. Through these accounts, FRONTLINE illustrates the social, political, and diplomatic failures that enabled the slaughter of 800,000 people to occur unabated and unchallenged by the global community. Extensive info on PBS's Ghosts of Rwanda website.

Sometimes in April

(2005) When the Hutu nationalists raised arms against their Tutsi countrymen in the African nation of Rwanda in April of 1994, the violent uprising marked the beginning of one of the darkest times in African history. Over the course of the next 100 days, brother would turn against brother, tearing families apart and resulting in the death of almost 800,000 people. Based on actual events that occurred during the uprising, Raoul Peck's affecting war drama tells the tale of two such brothers, whose differing loyalties found them on opposing sides of the conflict, and whose lives would never be the same following this tragic turn of events.

Shake Hands With The Devil
The story of General Romeo Dallaire's frustrated efforts to stop the madness of the Rwandan Genocide, despite the complete indifference of his superiors.

2007) Orphaned by Rwanda's genocide, young Ngabo (Jeff Rutagengwa), a Tutsi, sets off to mete out rough justice with his Hutu friend Sangwa (Eric Ndorunkundiye) in this earnest drama, which netted director Lee Isaac Chung an Independent Spirit Awards nod. Packing a stolen machete, the boys leave the city of Kigali and head to Ngabo's rural village. Along the way, they stop at Sangwa's parents' home -- where their tribal differences soon come to a head.

  • Rwanda Alive : Those Who Listen

Post-Genocide era

  • BBC Return to Rwanda
  • God sleeps in Rwanda
  • Kinyarwanda

Modern Africa

The African Side

"Showcases the positive side of Africa rarely ever seen. It is a black movie about Africa from an African's perspective. It showcases the way of life for modern day Africans, the African culture and history, and explains ancient traditional customs while celebrating African music, African dance, and the welcoming nature of Africans. ... Primarily covering Nigeria, South Africa, and Senegal, this ... film features the African culture, development, business and investment opportunities, city views, [and] African traditional life styles, as well as major tourism destinations. ... [It] attempts to explain the reasons for the negative perception of Africa by the news media, other filmmakers, and the west in general; ... addresses issues stemming from African history, including the slave trade as well as more recent western ideologies such as colonization, apartheid, and assimilation and the impact it had on African slaves and more recently on Africans and African Americans. ... It contains ... interviews from prominent Africans ... [and] first generation Africans living in the USA, including their struggles against the negative images and stereotypes of Africans and their ideas for moving Africa into the future."--Publisher Web site, viewed Nov. 5, 2010.