Trees of Peace (2021) - full transcript

After the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda, women survivors spearheaded the rehabilitation movement for their country. Rwanda now has more women appointed to government than any other nation IN THE WORLD. A powerful, but little-known fact. This film explores the suffering and resilience of four women trapped during this dark time in human history.

[indistinct chatter on radio]

[gunfire in distance]

- [gun firing]
- [people screaming]

- [gun firing]
- [woman screaming]

[people screaming]

[screaming continues]

[gunfire continues]

[woman screaming]

[intense music playing]

[guns firing]

[people screaming]

[whistle blowing]

[people clamoring]

[ominous music playing]

- [guns firing]
- [people screaming]

[ominous music continues]

[woman groaning, sobbing]

[indistinct chatter]

[music continues]

- [guns firing]
- [people screaming]

[guns firing]

[ominous music continues]

[guns firing]

[announcer 1 on radio] Many believe it was
not an accident but an assassination.

The Major General Juvénal Habyarimana

said that the RPF
never abandoned their logic...

[announcer 2 on radio]
The big question is,

who shot down the president's plane,

and how would this turn of events
further destabilize an already fragile...

[man speaking indistinctly on radio]

[woman 1] None of us menstruates anymore.

- [woman 2 screaming in distance]
- [guns firing]

[woman 1] None of us goes to the bathroom.

- [women screaming in distance]
- [glass shattering]

[woman 1] I can feel my spirit

eager for the long sleep.

- [guns firing]
- [men yelling]

[woman 1] Life leaves my body.

My bones waste away.

[men continue yelling]

[woman 1] We never thought
we'd be in here this long...

but we delay the inevitable.

I am writing this
so that when they find our bodies,

they will know how long we were here.

Have I told you my name?

My name is Annick Irakoze.

[door opens]

[ominous music playing]

[man] Annick! Ma puce!
[in Kinyarwanda] I have one more.

[woman panting, whimpering]

I will be back soon...

[in English] ...when it is safe for you
and for him to come out. Hmm?



[man outside] Right now!

I love you, ma puce.

[indistinct chatter outside]

[woman screaming outside]

[birds chirping]

[vehicle passing by]


- [gun firing outside]
- [screaming]

- [muffled scream]
- [Annick shushing]

[woman continues screaming]

- [whimpering]
- [shushing]

There were Hutu men

marching across our farm with machetes.

They were covered in blood,

and they were saying, "Tall trees."

"Cut the tall trees."

[shushing] It's okay. A dream.

- Here.
- [woman sobbing]

- Water. [shushing]
- [woman continues sobbing]

[Annick] Here.

Angels are with us.

It will end soon.

It will be okay, Mutesi. Hmm?

- Francois...
- How do you know my name?

You told us yesterday when you came.

- [woman screaming in distance]
- [gun firing]

Francois said he found you
inside the well.

You are Hutu, with child.

- A boy. A Hutu boy who will...
- [nun shushing]

My name is Jeanette. This is Annick.

I am a Hutu

but a moderate.

I may face the same danger.

We are in my home,
beneath the floor of my kitchen.

We built it ourselves.
Good for storing food.

We'll be safest here, a day or so,

until things get better.

But we must be quiet.

I, um...

- I'm... I'm just...
- Peyton. Here from the United States.

A volunteer at Saint Joseph.

[indistinct chatter outside]

[breathes deeply]

[in Kinyarwanda] Where's the toilet?

[in English] It's almost dark.
We can sneak there.

No. The risk is too great.

Then what? Where are we supposed to pee?

[Mutesi sighs]

- We cannot. We need...
- What? What more can we need?

Francois will give us everything we need.

And it will end.

[explosion in distance]

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, I...

[Mutesi in Kinyarwanda] Where is it?

[glass shattering outside]

[men screaming]

Do not be afraid.

[guns firing in distance]

It locks from the outside.

[Mutesi] What does?

[Annick] This room.

The door.

Don't be afraid.


[in English] We are locked in here?

- [Mutesi grunting]
- [Annick] Mutesi.

- Mutesi!
- [whimpering]

This room is for storing things,
not intended for people to be inside.

[grunting, panting]

It locks when the door closes.

We are safe.

Francois says it will end quickly.

The UN will come.

Belgian troops are here.

[Mutesi breathing heavily]

[Annick] Think about something else.
That's what I'm doing.

Just until tomorrow.

- [thunder rumbling]
- [rain pattering]

[dog barking outside]

[Peyton gasps] No, no, no. No, no, no.


- [water dripping]
- [exhales sharply]

[dogs barking outside]

[water dripping]


[objects rustling]


[grunts, pants]


- [gasps]
- [Peyton] It's okay.

It's okay. It's just me.

Uh, I... I have an idea
for a toilet, for now,

but I... I need your help.

Um, I... I think there's,
like, a hole right here.

We could break it.

Wrap another time.


[floorboards creaking]

[grunts, pants]

- [Mutesi sighs]
- [Peyton chuckles]

- Do you...
- Uh...

You first.

- [urinating]
- [Peyton sighing]

I could cry right now. [sighs]

- [urinating]
- [sighing]

[woman speaking indistinctly outside]

- [horn honking]
- [men yelling]


- Thank you.
- So Francois is your husband?

Five years. But we've known each other
since we were very young.

Almost our whole lives.
We were in primary school when he told me

he had claimed me. I was his.


It is a good thing
you've not had a child yet.

Times like these,
he'd be out there chopping his friends.

[inhales sharply] Maybe he would chop you.

[birds chirping]

- [gun firing in distance]
- [Annick] What about you, Peyton?

What brought you here?

- Uh... Peace Projects.
- [Mutesi] Yes.

That we can see.

What is the reason?

Mmm, no reason.

- [whistling outside]
- [footsteps passing by]

[men speaking indistinctly]

[footsteps fading]



How do you be a nun

in this world?

[chuckles softly]

Well, child,

God is not of this world.

He created it, but he is not of it.

But all we really know
is what we can see, right?

What we can physically feel, you know?
And anything can change, just like that.

[snaps fingers]

One thing happens, and...

it changes everything else.

The world does seem that way.

You never know what is coming next.

And... right when you think you do,
it's completely something else.

That is why you have no children?

I assume they'd be here, not us.

Children have not been
in God's plan for us.

We have not been able to.

It will happen.

[in Kinyarwanda] You've had miscarriages?

[in English] Four.

[somber music playing]

M... miscarriages?

This time...

this boy is the one.

[indistinct chatter outside]

- [boy 1 chuckling]
- [boys speaking indistinctly]


Hey, hey, come on now.

[boy 1] Christophe
is going to stomp you so bad later.

[boy 2] Christophe is gone.

- Pop says for good.
- [boy 1] Gone?

[in Kinyarwanda] Where? Why?

[boy 2 in English] Because
Christophe was a cockroach.

[man in Kinyarwanda]
Hey! What are you doing?

[in English] Identity card! Now!

[in Kinyarwanda] I don't have it.

- [boy 3 in English] We are Hutu, I swear.
- [man] Shut up!


Your father is Godefroid, no?

[boy 1] You know Papa?


This is not the time for games.

- You proud to be Hutu, boys?
- [boy 2] Yes.

[man] This place, this land,
is your birthright.

Not them cockroaches!

And you, you are old enough.

You should have
your identity card everywhere you go!

Yes, sir.

Don't you want it known
you are the better race?

[tense music playing]

This is the time for cleansing!

Play your part, brother.

The penalty today is one ball.

[boy 3 in Kinyarwanda] Go!

[in English] Get the ball.

[in Kinyarwanda] Run!


[man in English] Hey, hey!
What are you doing over there?

[Annick exhales]

[man] Nice ball.

You two, go home.

- You, brother, come with me.
- [boy 3 mumbling]

[man] Come!

[Jeanette] So we clap first,

and then the right hand
meets once in the middle,

and then the left.

- Yes.
- [Peyton] Oh, I know this game.


- Oh my gosh, you're good.
- [both chuckling]

- [mumbling]
- [Peyton laughs]

- [shushing]
- [gun firing outside]

[whispering] I'm serious.
This is not a time for games.

What else are we supposed to do?

[Peyton] Bubblegum, bubblegum in a dish.

How many pieces do you wish?

Mutesi, how many pieces?

[people screaming outside]

Oh. Um...


One, two, three, four, five,

six, seven, eight, nine.

And you are not it.

[man yelling outside]

- [Peyton] Annick, you're not it.
- [gun firing in distance]

- Oh, oh, oh.
- [Peyton] Take your foot out.

[Annick] Oh.

So, what happens when you're it?

Well, whoever's it has to chase...

Whoever is it has to...

[Mutesi, Jeanette] I declare thumb war.

Five, six, seven, eight,
try to keep your thumbs straight.

[Jeanette laughing]

[women laughing]

[Mutesi laughing] I've got you.

[solemn music playing]

[dog barking in distance]

[guns firing in distance]

[wind chimes tinkling]

[Annick humming]

[birds chirping]

[men speaking indistinctly outside]


[vehicle passing by]

- [woman panting outside]
- [guns firing]

[gasps] A woman is hiding.

A woman is hiding.


She can join us.

We can call to her.

No, no, no, no. It's unsafe.

- We cannot leave her.
- [Annick] Not with our voices.

We could throw something out there,
get her attention.

[indistinct chatter outside]

[man 1 in Kinyarwanda]
I don't care if it tastes like piss,

as long as it gets me drunk.


I know him. Pascal.

A member of our church.

He will help her.

Thank you, Jesus.

He's Hutu?

Yes, but like you.

You cannot trust him,
no matter how well you know him.


I know this boy.

Trust me.

Trust in God.

- I'll call to him.
- [Annick] Jeanette!

Francois will come.

[Pascal in Kinyarwanda]
Look here, a cockroach!

[Hutu soldier in English]
A cockroach. [laughs]

- Come, come. Move.
- [woman] No!


[Pascal in Kinyarwanda]
Bring her along quick.

Let's get this over with.

[Hutu soldier in English] This will end
easy and painless for you

if you tell us now.

Ah, you think we won't find them?

We found you.

It is my job to hunt them down.

- If you won't tell us, well...
- [woman] We all scattered so fast.

[Hutu soldier] Ah! Like cockroaches?

[men laughing]

[Pascal] You do not want
to feel this in your flesh.

You don't want your husband
or your children to feel it either.

If you tell us where they are,
they won't have to.

I will feed them each a bullet instead.

- Come, come, come.
- Please. [sobbing]

- You can stop this, please.
- [Pascal] Oh, shut up!

You know, you really are a bitch!


And those ugly children, like an ugly dog.

Look at me!

[in Kinyarwanda] You fucking cockroach.

[in English] I say
she's more like a fat fucking cow

ready to push out another one, eh?

[Pascal] Where are you going, huh?
Where are you going? Huh?

- Take her over there!
- Oh God, no! No!

- No! [sobbing]
- [Pascal] Oh, shut up!

- I'll teach this one a lesson.
- No!

[sobbing] No! No!

No! No!

[Pascal] Shut up! Shut up!

[woman screaming] No!


[screaming] No! No!

- No! [screaming]
- [Mutesi sobs]

- [woman screaming]
- [Pascal grunting]

[Annick sobbing]

[woman sobbing]

[Pascal in Kinyarwanda]
It's your turn, brother.

I will hold her.

- [Mutesi sobbing]
- [woman yelping]

[in English] Where are your cockroaches?

You will rot in hell for this!

- You will rot in hell...
- [Hutu soldier yelling]

[Annick gasping]

- [Hutu soldier grunting]
- [machete hacking]

[woman groaning]

[solemn music playing]


[Mutesi sobbing]

[dogs barking in distance]

[dogs snarling]

- [dogs growling, barking]
- [gags]

[Annick] Dogs.

Are they...

[dogs snarling]

It was Akimana Murenzi.

She and her husband ran the main bakery.

And the two who killed her... [sniffling]

...they were still practically boys.

Pascal, he used to sing in the choir.

He had the most beautiful voice.

[Mutesi] You did this.

You didn't want her here.

She's dead because of you.

- No, we are alive because of her.
- [sobbing] She was... She was...

She was pregnant.

Why didn't you say she was pregnant?

That would have made the difference?
Only women who bear children matter?

- The rest are not worth your mercy?
- [Jeanette] She has been merciful.

This is about God's mercy.

- [Annick] There was nothing...
- Do not touch me!

We only listened to her.

- [sobbing]
- [Mutesi] Only listened.

They would never kill a precious American.

Akimana should have been in this room.

No, no. Shh. This is not God's truth.

Francois will help us.

- I know it is hard.
- Are you mad or stupid?

Your husband is surely dead.

We must have faith and pray.

Pray to who?

Who is listening?

The Lord Jesus is always listening.

People are being slaughtered
like sows in the street, and for what?

God listens to us all.

He may not always give us the answer...

Like sows in the street!

Your make-believe is over.

People who have killed will have to answer
for their transgressions

on the Day of Judgment.

This is their judgment.

Right now.

What they did,

no woman...

should ever have to suffer that.


At night, my uncle would...

[somber music playing]


[continues sobbing]

[Jeanette] I am sorry.

I know what that is like.

My father, he would...

He would hurt my mother
that way sometimes.

He would force himself on her.

[dogs growling, barking]


I'll kill those fucking dogs.

Your people started this.

White man came, said, "Identity cards."

Said, "Hutu get this,"
said, "Tutsi get that."

[man singing indistinctly outside]

- [dogs barking]
- [man] Shut up!

- [gun firing]
- [dog yelping]

[footsteps treading]

[man speaking indistinctly, laughing]

Look into my eyes

and tell me that those boys
do not deserve to suffer in hell.

Do it.

Do it.

Pass judgment onto those pigs.

I never dare judge anyone.

[Mutesi] Why is that?

Because you'd have to judge your father
for being a pig?

And perhaps Akimana
should have been in here,

and you out there.

[Peyton crying]

[somber music playing]

[Mutesi] Enough of this.

Akimana is with the Lord now.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father,

we pray for the soul of Akimana Murenzi.

May you keep her, Lord.

May you keep her.

[people wailing outside]

[Mutesi] Those men knew her.

They knew she had children missing.


- [gun firing in distance]
- Why would you hide us?

When the violence broke out,
the militia was pillaging homes.

Francois says they have lists of names.

Names of Tutsi and of Hutu moderates.

Francois is a teacher at a school
for the education of both Tutsi and Hutu.

We never believed
Tutsi were better than us,

no matter what prejudice you've seen

or what you were told as children.

[people screaming]

No person is better than any other.

And we must love ourselves
to be able to love each other.

You were a lonely little girl.

You think you're so smart.

You only listen to judge and not hear.

You are right.
I... I was a lonely little girl.

But I see...

you still are.

- [stomach growling]
- [Jeanette grunts softly]

[rain pattering]

[thunder rumbling]

[guns firing in distance]

[Peyton inhales]

[people clamoring in distance]

[gunfire continues]

[wrapper rustling]

[in Kinyarwanda]
What are you doing? What is this?

[in English] You hide food from us,
and you have it all for yourself.

- [Jeanette, Peyton] No!
- What else?

- [unzipping]
- Mutesi!

Stop! She came to feed the poor Africans.

[sighs] I came to teach.

[Annick] Mutesi,
this is not for you to... Stop this!

- This is not...
- She was letting us starve!

[Peyton] No, I was saving it, in case...

What if we're in here for a while?

I... I was going to share the food. I was.

No, you keep it.

I don't need your disgusting food.


It's just,

there's no way to know
if Francois is coming back.

So if... if this is all we have, then...

- [grunts softly]
- [wrapper rustling]

We are all starving.

Just eat. Here.

[Jeanette] Father, bless this food.
Forgive us our trespasses...

[flashlight clicking]

- [man] Open up.
- [banging in distance]

[men speaking indistinctly]

- Wake...
- [flies buzzing]


Wake... Hmm.

[men yelling outside]

- [glass shattering]
- [gasps]

Why are you not asleep?

Can I make a confession?

[Jeanette] I am not a priest.


Make your confession.

I'm scared.

We are all scared.

We must stay faithful.

He's five months today.

And I feel so...

This is all I ever wanted,

being a mother,

having a family.

Trust in God
to give you the gifts you ask for.

[Annick] You are right, I know,

but I can't help asking
what keeps Francois for so long.

Wherever he is,

he is thinking about you and that baby boy

and doing everything he can
to come back here.

Five nights.

Five nights.


A moment ago,

his first movement.

[in Kinyarwanda] Truly!


- [gasps, laughs]
- [Annick laughs]


God has given you a strong boy.

- [chuckling]
- But now you need to sleep.

Time to trade.

[uplifting music playing]

Thank you.

[Jeanette] Close your eyes.

[music continues]

Do you like that book, Peyton?

Oh. [chuckles]

Oh, this? Uh, yeah.

I'd say it's a classic.

Would you mind reading it to us?

I'm... I'm not very good
at reading out loud. Um...

But... But you can read it.

I haven't tried reading English
in a very long time,

almost ten years.

I could not read it well. [chuckles]

Really? You... You speak it perfectly.

[Jeanette] French is the same.

Most all Rwandans speak it,
but we are not really taught the letters.


I do.

Because you're Tutsi?

[Mutesi] Jeanette is Tutsi.

It has nothing to do with that,
not for me.

My family and I
have been goat farmers my whole life.

No more privileged than any Hutu.

I wanted to know the language.

I taught myself.

Thank you, Peyton.


[inhales sharply]

"Seeds of Love, Trees of Peace

by Susan Elijah Kern."

"The seeds of love
are planted round the world."

"They're twirled and whirled."

"They're furled and hurled."

[inspirational music playing]

"They're planted here

and planted there."

"Up high,

down low,

and everywhere."

"Seeds of love
are planted each and every day."

"They're part of life
in every single way."

"Seeds of flowers, seeds of goats."

"Those of people,

those called oats."

[door opens]

[door closes]

[suspenseful music playing]

[footsteps thumping]

[footsteps get louder]

- [floorboards creaking]
- [hatch opens]

- [Peyton sighs]
- [Francois] Ma puce.

[Annick gasps]

I was afraid. I was afraid you were...

You were so long.

[Francois] I am sorry, ma puce.

You must know
that I will never, never leave you.

No, no, no. Stay... stay there. Stay hidden.

How is he?

- He kicks hard.
- [Francois chuckles]

He is strong.

[Francois laughing] Like his father, eh?

[Annick] Mmm.

What kept you?

[Francois] It has been a bit of chaos.

But I remembered you had Peyton's food
and some water already.

I tried to come back to bring some more,
but it has not been possible.

Come. We... We must go.

The UN is here to take you.

[shushing] Not all of you.

Only her. Peyton.

They ask for whites only.

I... I am sorry, ma puce,
but our time will come soon.

Come. We must go.

Only whites? Why?

[Francois] The UN
will come for the rest of us.

- I just... I don't understand...
- [Francois] Now. We must go now.

There's no time for this.

We have to leave now.

- No!
- [Francois groans]

[speaks Kinyarwanda]

- [whimpering]
- [Francois] Peyton.

[people screaming outside]

[Peyton] It shouldn't... It shouldn't be me.

- [guns firing]
- [gasps]

[Francois] Come now. Come now, please.

[sobbing] It shouldn't be me.

- [Francois] The militia is here.
- I can't.

[Francois] This is your last chance.

- [gun firing]
- [man screaming]

[Francois] It is too late.

- I love you, ma puce.
- [Annick] I love you too.

[Francois] I'll bring more food.

[disturbing music playing]

[door opens, closes]

[Peyton sobbing]

Children belong home safe.

Why didn't you go?

I'm not a child. [chuckles]

You are a child enough.
Someone should be protecting you.

- What if I can't keep you safe?
- The UN's here.

- They'll come back for us tomorrow.
- One more day your mother worries.

My parents haven't worried
about me in years.

She should have left.
She cuts our food rations by a fourth.

We would have starved already without her.

Peyton, the love of a mother and a father
is like nothing on this Earth.

I like to imagine that
that's real for every child, but, uh...

[inhales sharply]

Some kids, they mess up bad enough,
and there's no more chances after that.

It's like love can't find them anymore.

[Annick] Mmm.

- Your mother's love...
- I killed my little brother.

Four years ago.

My parents, they were at a work party,

and... Caleb...

he wanted to watch Ghostbusters.

So I told him that I would drive him
to the video store

if he cleaned up my mess.

Put my beer bottles
in the neighbor's trash.

And he did it.


He did it because he didn't want me
to get sent away again.

I shouldn't have been driving.

I had no idea how drunk I was. [sniffling]

And, uh... [sniffling]

...everyone agrees that it...
it shouldn't have been Caleb.


And I've tried

a few times since to, um,

unburden them of myself, but...


...I'm still here.

I knew it.

That is why you are in Rwanda.

Your own atonement.

That scar there,

is that you trying to unburden them?

Why didn't it work?

[Annick] That is enough, Mutesi.

She was their burden,
and now she is our burden, so tell us...

[Annick] Enough.

You think because you are so smart,

because you see through people,
it gives you the right to be so cruel?

I would ask you... [exhales]

...why you pick us all apart,
but it's already so obvious.

You were violated in the worst ways,

but that does not give you the right
to violate everyone else.

So please leave us alone.

I would if you didn't lock us in here.

[Peyton] It wasn't deep enough.

You don't actually have to cut that deep
to get to the radial artery, but, uh,

I was just too scared.

[Mutesi] Ah. Finally,

she passes judgment.

No amount of volunteer work
will save your soul.

Taking one's own life is the greatest sin.

Only repentance before God might save you.


You told me once that you became a nun
because your father was a priest.

He was a rapist.

[Annick] Satisfied?

Or shall we suffer more?

You don't know suffering.

Imagine being forgotten
because of what you've suffered.

Because no one knows what to say.

They look through you
as if you're not there.

- Yes, I walk...
- [groans]


[Annick groans]


Four babies have lived and died inside me.

Does that give me the right
to be cruel like you?

When Francois returns,
you have my blessings to leave.

I will not stop you.

[flies buzzing]

[indistinct chatter outside]


[man in French] Fuck you, idiots!

[in English] Allow me to piss in peace.

Too much beers.

[continues urinating]

Too much of the fucking beers.

[belt clinks]

- Bouffons, who is next on our list?
- [zipping]

[man 2] Hurry up.

- Let's go.
- [man 3] I'll meet you there.

[men speaking indistinctly]


[man announcing indistinctly on speaker]

I can read it again.

Right, repent before God.

I've tried it already.

Doesn't work.

I was thinking I may give it a try.

I said before,
I haven't tried in many years.

It's never too late to learn

and teach your son.

We have nothing else to do
but have men piss on us.

[chuckles softly]

[Annick] "Seeds...

[hopeful music playing]




of Peace

by Su..."

- "Su..."
- Susan.



[Peyton] Elijah.

[music continues]

[Annick] "Elijah...

- Kern"?
- [chuckles] Yeah.

Good. That's right, "Kern."

[hopeful music continues]

[page flips]




[Francois] I'm sorry
I was so long to return.

There's been no safe time
with the damned rain.

The Hutu army has been patrolling.

Here, drink this.

Good, good. [sighs]

What about the UN?

How much longer?

[Francois] They, uh...

The UN is gone.

They left.

[Annick] What?

When will they be back?

You wanted to leave here?
Now is your chance.

[banging on door]

[man] Francois Irakoze?

We have your name.

- [tense music playing]
- [Francois shushing]

Here's the rest. Here, take it.

Do not speak. Do not move.

I must go.

- Stay with us.
- [Francois] No, they will find us all.

Stop this right now. Release me.

[banging on door]

[man] Francois Irakoze?

[Francois] Yes, yes.
Uh, give me a moment, please.


- [Francois shushing]
- [hatch locking]

[footsteps receding]

[door opens]

[Francois] Oh, hello, Commander.

[Commander] We have your name,
Francois. You see?

- [footsteps treading]
- [Francois] Yes. This...

This... This must be a mistake, sir.

[Commander] Would you call
your neighbors liars?

[Francois] My neighbors?

[man in Kinyarwanda]
They are faithful to our cause.

They have informed us you are not.

[Commander in English] Is anyone else
here in your home with you?

You two stay here, watch for cockroaches.

[Francois] It's just me. No cockroaches.

This is your wife in this picture?

[Francois] Yes. She's Hutu.
On a trip with her mother in Gitarama.

[Commander] And what is this?

You won some recognition?

[Francois] No, sir. Yes, sir.

Well, I am a teacher.

This plaque recognizes
the accreditation for my school.

[Commander] New Hope.

[in Kinyarwanda] How nice.

[loud bang]

I haven't heard of it.

[Francois] It is new.

A school for science.

[Commander] Do you educate Tutsi children?

- [in English] No, no.
- [Jeanette shushing]

[Francois in Kinyarwanda] Oh, no.
I educate Hutu children.

Only Hutu.

[footsteps thumping]

[Commander] Dare you lie to me?

[gun cocking]

[Francois in English] No, sir.

[man] Oh...

How wonderful for you.

Is this your first?

And a boy?

- [Commander] A strong Hutu man, eh?
- [Francois chuckles] Ye... yes, sir.

[Commander] Brought up
in a world without Tutsis.

Very good.

[in Kinyarwanda] Come, brothers!

Let's leave him
to paint the boy's nursery.

You can join up with us when you're done.

[man in English] Nothing more gratifying
than killing cockroaches.

[Commander] We will be back
to visit again, Francois.

I look forward to meeting your wife.

- [door closes]
- [women sigh]

[vehicle doors open and close]

[engine starts]

[vehicle pulling away]

[Mutesi gasps]

Wait, we must set rations!
No, stop! We are all starving!

- Annick is pregnant!
- [gasps, grunts]

- You wasted it!
- [Peyton grunts]


What is wrong with you?
You are like those dogs.

I will kill you for that rice.

- [Annick grunts]
- [gasps]



This is hell!


[Jeanette] You are so ungrateful!

It sickens me to look at you!
It sickens me!

[Mutesi screaming]

- [Peyton] Jeanette.
- [muffled screaming]

Jeanette. Jeanette, that's enough!

[gasping, coughing]


[somber music playing]

We are going to die in here.

Over two weeks and nothing from Belgium.

[inhales] Who is going to end this?

You stupid woman.

A Hutu...

free to leave this hell.

Why are you here?

I'm not freer than you.

[somber music continues]

[inhales deeply]

[Jeanette] I was so hungry.

[Jeanette sobbing]

My father said she died in sin.

The greatest sin.

My mother...

I am afraid to ask God

where does her soul rest?

Have I been faultless enough
to absolve her?

I was so hungry.

I'm so sorry.


[pensive music playing]


the world."

[Jeanette] "Round the world."

[Annick] "They are..."

- What is that little thing up there?
- [dog barking outside]

[Peyton] What thing?

Uh, that's an apostrophe.

They put it there
when a letter is missing.

When the letter is missing?

Why don't they just put in the letter?

Mmm, because, well,
it makes you pronounce it differently.

It's like a... a shortcut.

It's called a contraction.

- [goat bleating outside]
- Contraction.

[Peyton] Mmm.

[in Kinyarwanda] I don't get it.

I don't know.

[in English] Why do you want
to speak so fast?

[Jeanette scoffs]

- Why don't you speak slower?
- [laughs]

You see? You just said "don't."

That's... That's a contraction.
It comes from "do not."

Um, see, here.

[man yelling outside]

The wall.

[inspirational music playing]





Three this time.




You know it. It's...

[Annick] No, no, no. Don't tell me.


Here. Write it then.

I don't want to.


It's obvious you do.

Any time you want to play, let us know.

[breathes deeply]

[woman wailing outside]

[rain pattering]

How am I doing?

You're doing great.


This one is half full.

[thunder rumbling]


[dog barking outside]

[solemn music playing]

What are you writing?

Letters for my son.

You'll read them to him someday.

What do they say?

[Annick] I'm only on my second one so far.

"My sweet boy."


we marked the wall for day 34."

"It feels like a lifetime in this room."

"I forget the smell of flowers."

"Can't remember the feel
of a bath on my skin."

"But I learn things I have never known."

"An American girl

I have thought must have a perfect life,

but she has sought death."

"A sister of the faith,

one with God,

carrying a burden
she hasn't relinquished into God's hands."

"A Tutsi girl...

so beautiful...

so bright...

but a victim who claims her anger
like her name."

"And myself."

"I know my pain."

"Baby boy...

you will be my great happiness."

[solemn music continues]

"I write these things for you...

so you will know the truths
we cannot always see in the open."

That is all so far.

[music continues]

I don't want to die with this anger.

May I add my name?

My family and I, our farm is quite small,

but I've always wanted
to make things change.

When I was...

When my uncle would...

The women in my village,
they would do nothing.

These women, like mothers to me,

the men like fathers,

my own mother and father,

they did nothing

because of fear and shame.

It burned me up like fire.

[solemn music continues]

[thunder rumbling]

I was with my mother
when the killing started.

There was a moment
I could have protected her,

but I ran.

I see your suffering,

all of you.

It is so familiar.

If I do nothing for you now,
then I am no different

than those women who did nothing for me.

We... are one.

[music swells]

You are a good teacher.

[women laughing]

You should write his name.

[laughs] I don't know it.

Maybe we should name him...





[flies buzzing]

[Jeanette] "Seeds of people
come from moms and dads together

to make a baby boy or girl

in any kind of weather."

"Making babies makes us glad

and gives us future moms and dads."

[in French] Seeds of...

of goats.


Seeds of goats and all the animals

are planted just the same.

[vehicle passing by]

[flashlight flickering]

- [Jeanette gasps]
- [Peyton] What?

[Annick] The light.

- Can you fix it?
- [Peyton] I'm trying.

- [Jeanette] No, give it to me.
- [Peyton] Jeanette.

- [banging on floor]
- [Annick] You're going to break it.

- [Jeanette panting] Let me try!
- [Peyton] Jeanette, stop!

[Jeanette] The Lord will let us
have our light back!

- [continues banging]
- [Peyton] Jeanette, stop!

- [Mutesi] You're going to break it.
- [Annick] Show mercy to my family.

- [Peyton] Jeanette.
- [continues banging flashlight]

[Jeanette gasping]


[breathing deeply]

- [dogs barking outside]
- Why?

Why hasn't he come back?

It has been ten days.

We'll be out of food.

He's in a safe place.

They will not be found at New Hope.

He cannot stay at New Hope.

They are killing every Tutsi
and every Hutu moderate.

They will look for him.

He must hide somewhere else.

[men cheering outside]

[guns firing]

[door opens, closes]

[rapid footsteps approaching]

[flies buzzing]

[hatch unlocks, opens]

[Francois coughing]


Ma puce.

Ma puce.


It's okay. It is me.

- Don't be afraid.
- [man screaming in distance]

[Francois] Don't be afraid.



- Are they finally here?
- [Francois] Ma puce.

I am so sorry I failed you.

You have not failed anyone.

You are the greatest teacher in Kigali.

We will get new books.

We must.

[Francois] What?

Ma puce, that was a long time ago.

[sniffling] We got new books years ago.

[gunfire in distance]

Have you been eating? You don't look well.

How is our son?

[Annick] He kicks.
He's... He's resting more.

[Francois] Here.

Eat, eat, eat.


- Take it.
- [Francois] No. It is for you and him.

- There isn't enough.
- It is for you.


[Francois sobbing]

Thank you, ma puce. Thank you.


Everyone we've ever known...

The killings
have only gotten worse each day.

They say hundreds of thousands, ma puce.

And no one has come to make it stop.

Ma puce,

no one is coming.


They say Hôtel des Mille Collines
is the only safe place of refuge,

but the roadblocks...
There's no way to get there.

Ma puce, I do not know
when I will be back.

If they find us, I don't know what to...

[Annick] No.

You will stay hidden.

- [Francois] Mmm.
- [Annick] Hmm?

[Francois] Mmm.



- I love you, ma puce.
- No. Stay.

- You can only be safe if you stay.
- [Francois] I cannot.

There are others who need help too.


What others?

Our neighbors.

Samira, baby Nafia.

I found them hiding. No food, no water.

I cannot stay.

- Then I'll come with you.
- [Francois] No, please.

Please. Please, you will stay here.

You cannot leave me to rot
while you help them.

How can you do that to me? Hmm?

You cannot help them while we starve!

- [Francois] Annick, they are dying.
- Our boy is dying!

Come. [mumbles]

[Francois sniffling]

I love you, ma puce.

[Annick] No. No, Francois, no.

[Francois] Annick. Annick. Annick.

- [sobbing]
- Listen to me. Listen to me. Listen to me.

You are mine always, eh?

And I am yours.

- They can never change that.
- [sobbing hysterically]

[Francois] I love you, ma puce.

[hatch closes]

[door opens, closes]

[dramatic music playing]

[birds chirping]

[flies buzzing]

[indistinct chatter outside]

[water trickling]

[hatch closes]

[footsteps treading]

- [ethereal music playing]
- [kids playing]

[dramatic music plays]

[Annick gasps]


[kids playing outside]

[Annick whimpers]


- [screaming]
- [shushing]

Only a dream.


[suspenseful music playing]

- [heart beating]
- [Annick whimpers]

Oh my God. No, she's in labor.

[Annick screaming in pain]

What should we do?

I've done this many times with the goats.
Slow her heartbeat so she will bleed less.

And water.

[Annick continues screaming]



Annick. Annick, you must stop this noise.

You breathe with us now, yes?

[breathing deeply]

[Mutesi, Peyton breathing deeply]

That is very good, Annick.
You're doing much better than the goats.


Elijah is on his way.

His head is coming.


Push harder.

[continues screaming]

She has to be quiet!

- [shushing]
- [continues screaming]

[Mutesi] Push. Push harder.

Push for your son.

Push with all your might.

[screaming in pain]


[rain pattering]

[guns firing in distance]

[indistinct chatter outside]

- [thunder rumbling]
- [rain pattering]

[flies buzzing]

[Annick] "Seventy-three days."

"None of us menstruates anymore."

"None of us goes to the bathroom."

"I can feel my spirit
eager for the long sleep."

"Life leaves my body."

"My bones waste away."

"We never thought
we'd be in here this long,

but we delay the inevitable."

"They have taken everything now."

"Elijah, you have ceased to move."

"Are you with God, my sweet angel?"

"I fear it is so."

"And, Francois, what keeps you?"

"As I look out, see men,

women, children,

piled up in that mocking grave,

I wish to be one of them."

"Only so that I might rest beneath the sky

with the cool rain to cleanse my skin."

"Only so that the mud
would rise up and cradle me."

"Only so that I could finally

have... peace."


It is your turn to read.

Come on, sit up.

Your pronunciation is still bad.

[shaking intensely]

[Mutesi gasping]

[Jeanette] Peyton!





[Annick grunting]

[Mutesi] Peyton, please!

Peyton, please.



[Peyton gasps]

[women gasp, sigh]

How is he?

[explosion, gunfire in distance]


[flies buzzing]

[footsteps thumping]

[hatch opens]

[Francois coughing]



Ma puce?

Ma puce?

[panting] Oh God. Oh God.

Please wake. Please wake. Please wake.


Ma puce? Ma puce?

- [gasps]
- [Francois shushing]

It is okay. It is me. It is me.


[Annick] Am I with angels?

[Francois] No, ma puce.

You are alive.

Eat this.

Eat this.

Regain your strength.

[indistinct yelling outside]

[woman shouting, screaming]

Our son...

[gun firing outside]

I see angels when I close my eyes.

They are going to take him soon.

- And me.
- [Francois] No, stay with me.

We have a duty to fight.

We are alive.


Ma puce, listen carefully to me.

Nafia is dead.

[somber music playing]

Not even two years old.

I held her when she was born.

- [sobs]
- [Francois shushing]


[Francois] She is without hope.

This is why we must fight. Huh?

We must live.

[Francois sobbing]



[Francois sobbing, kissing]

Ma puce, the rebel army is fighting back,
and they are winning.

The Hutus have begun to flee.

Their roadblocks are nearly abandoned.

We can make it
to the Hôtel des Mille Collines

if we go in the night. Huh?

Make them eat.

[Annick] The rebels have come.

The rebels have come.

Here, eat this.

- [weakly] Rebels?
- [Annick] Yes.

- Is that good?
- [Annick] Yes.








[groaning weakly]

[Francois] Here, eat, drink,

move around, get stronger.

You only need to survive here
one day more.

- Only one?
- [Francois] Yes, ma puce.

Only one day more.

[solemn music playing]

[hatch closes]

[Annick laughing weakly]

[rain pattering]

[thunder rumbling]

[weakly] "This nectar turns into a treat

when bees make honey, mmm, so sweet."

[Mutesi, weakly] "Seeds of all the animals

are planted just the same,

creating baby goats and other creatures,

wild and..."

[vehicle pulling up]

- [vehicle doors open, close]
- [man outside] Out! All of you!

Peter, let's go. Out.

[in Kinyarwanda] Go inside
and bring Francois out here.

[kids whimpering]

[Peter in Kinyarwanda]
Seba... Sir, my students...

[Seba in English] Peter, do what is right.

[in Kinyarwanda] Do it, Peter!
Or your cockroach students will all die.

[in English] It's children.

[Peter in Kinyarwanda]
Francois is not here.

[Seba in Kinyarwanda]
You know he is not here.

So you know where he is!

[Peter] I do not know.

- [Seba] Liar!
- [kids crying]

[Seba in English] Peter,
earn your place among Hutus again.

[in Kinyarwanda]
Either tell us where Francois is

or take my machete
and chop these cockroaches for me.

If you do not, I will kill them,

you, and your wife.

- [Peter speaking indistinctly]
- [gun cocks]

- [Seba in English] Do it, or it is you.
- [Peter sobbing]

- [in Kinyarwanda] I'm sorry!
- [kids crying]

[Peter] I'm sorry! Please forgive me!

- [machete swishing]
- [kids screaming]

- [Peter yelps]
- [kids screaming]

- [machete swishing]
- [Mutesi, Jeanette, Peyton whispering]

[kids continue screaming]

[Peter in Kinyarwanda] No more! No more!

I cannot finish them, please!

[Seba in English] Tell us where Francois

and the rest
of your cockroaches are hiding,

and I will let those two babies live.

[in Kinyarwanda] You have my word.

- [girl crying]
- [Seba] It's okay, little girl. Don't cry.

[girl screaming]

[Peter] Okay, okay! Stop, stop!

Please, don't hurt her!

They are hiding in a small school.

It is new. A few miles outside Kigali.

[Mutesi in English] New Hope.

[Peter] New Hope School of Science.

- [gun firing]
- [girl screaming]

[gun firing]

[Seba in Kinyarwanda] Let's go!

[men speaking indistinctly]

- [vehicle doors closing]
- [engine starts]

[vehicle pulling away]

I don't wanna die.

[somber music playing]


Francois, he is...

He said only one day.


[Mutesi] We have to get out of here.

One, two, three.

[grunts, pants]

[Mutesi] We must keep trying.

It will open. Push again.

It has been all day.

The lock is too strong.

And no key.

[door opens]

[footsteps thumping]

Is it Francois?

[objects clattering]

[footsteps thumping]

- [Seba in Kinyarwanda] Search everywhere.
- [objects clattering]

You've seen how they can fit
into the smallest hole.

Annick Irakoze.

[in English] You and your husband
are traitors to your people.

Find the attic.

[in Kinyarwanda] Annick, if you surrender,
perhaps we will spare your life.

[object dragging on floor]

[glass shattering]

[footsteps treading]

[in English] Come out right now!

I know you are up there.

- Francois confessed.
- [Annick sobs]

[man 1] Seba, I think I heard one of them.

[man 2] I heard it too.

Tell her how we tortured her husband.

[speaking Kinyarwanda]

[Seba] We found him hiding in that school.

He shitted himself
like a frightened animal.

[in Kinyarwanda] We cut off his feet first
so he could not run.

Still, he would not tell us a thing

until his castration.


[Seba in English] He told us
everything we needed to know.

By then, he was in a lot of pain,
so we tried to be merciful.

Offered him a bullet
for only 7,000 francs.

A discount.

But he had no money.

So I slit his throat open.

[ominous music playing]

[Seba continues in Kinyarwanda]

[Hutu soldier] Seba,
the commander is looking for you.

[Seba in Kinyarwanda] Give me more time!

[soldier in English] He said now.

[Seba in Kinyarwanda] All right! Let's go.

But we will come back at sunup
to find these cockroaches.

[footsteps receding]

[loud thudding]

[loud clank]

- [men yelling outside]
- [guns firing]

- [thunder rumbling]
- [rain pattering]

[Mutesi] They will come soon.


The storm is loud enough to cover us.

Who will take us?

- They killed Francois.
- Quiet.

If we can get out of here,

we can get to the Mille Collines.

I know the way.

So many bodies in the street.

- [people clamoring]
- [guns firing]

[in Kinyarwanda] We are leaving soon.

[man screaming outside]

- [Mutesi in English] Come.
- No.

Leave me here.

If you stay, we will all stay.

And I would rather die
than let any man hurt me again.

Now sit up.

[in Kinyarwanda] Be strong.

[in English] Elijah may still live.

If he is to be a strong boy,
he must have a strong mother.

And we,

we are the sisters you never wanted.

- [gunfire in distance]
- [man screaming outside]

They'll take you too.

They'll find us.

And when they do...

That is why we must leave.

[Mutesi straining]

Help me!

[grunting] Ready?

- Go.
- [women grunting]

Help us!


[women straining]


[women panting]

[thunder rumbling]

[pensive music playing]

[gunfire in distance]

[music stops]

[Mutesi] A key.

[hopeful music playing]


He kicks.

He kicks.

[hopeful music continues]

[Mutesi grunting]

[women grunting]


[women panting]

[speaking indistinctly]

[women grunting]

[music continues]



[music swells]


[women grunting]




[vehicle doors open, close]

[men yelling outside]

[man] He said they are inside,
in the kitchen. Quickly.

- [guns firing]
- [women whimpering]

[footsteps approaching]

- [man] They're still alive.
- [footsteps approaching]

[dramatic music playing]

- Ma puce, I'm here.
- [Annick sobbing]

I'm here.

[both sobbing]

We are safe now.

We are safe. These men are RPF.

[women sobbing]

They found the school, yes, yes.

It was a massacre.

But I was not there.

I left only for a few hours to bury Nafia.
But when I returned...

everyone was dead.

That baby girl protected me.

[Annick] Elijah too.

We survived 81 days in that room.

[all sobbing]

[RPF soldier] Let's go.

Let's go.

[Annick] It seemed we lost everything.

But we found the most important thing
we never knew to look for,

each other.

They say I saved them,

but really, they saved me.

They saved Elijah.

My sisters.

And now, together,

we will find healing.

We will claim


[emotional instrumental music playing]



[music continues]

["Remember Our Names" by Haley J. Perkins
& Clarisse Karasira playing]


♪ There's history ♪

♪ In this place ♪

♪ Even sadness can't erase ♪

♪ Trails of hurting ♪

♪ Dampness in my eyes ♪

♪ Scraps of yearning trembling in dust ♪

♪ In the ember-filled sky ♪

♪ We will soar like butterflies ♪

♪ The burdens we carry ♪

♪ Won't keep us down ♪

♪ And when we're buried ♪

♪ Our story will still be around ♪

♪ We'll fly from the darkness ♪

♪ Like moths to the flame, flame, flame ♪

♪ But will you remember ♪

♪ Will you remember ♪

♪ Our names? ♪


- ♪ You can be the sea ♪
- ♪ You can be the sea ♪

♪ I'll be the rain ♪

- ♪ We'll birth some beauty ♪
- ♪ Birth some beauty ♪

♪ From this pain ♪

- ♪ Let's grow our Eden ♪
- ♪ Let's grow Eden ♪

- ♪ Under the sun ♪
- ♪ Under the sun ♪

♪ We are different, but we are one ♪


♪ Scattered pieces ♪

- ♪ The wind had broken ♪
- ♪ Broken ♪

♪ Oh, our lives won't go unspoken ♪

♪ Burdens we carry ♪

♪ Won't keep us down, down, down ♪

♪ And when we're buried ♪

♪ Our story will still be around ♪

♪ We'll fly from the darkness ♪

♪ Like moths to the flame, flame, flame ♪

♪ But will you remember ♪

♪ You've got to remember ♪

♪ Will you remember ♪

♪ Our names? ♪


[singing in Kinyarwanda]

♪ Burdens we carry ♪

♪ Won't keep us down, down, down ♪

♪ And when we're buried ♪

♪ Our story will still be around ♪

♪ We'll fly from the darkness ♪

♪ Like moths to the flame, flame, flame ♪

♪ But will you remember? ♪

♪ You've got to remember ♪

♪ You must remember ♪

[inhales deeply]

♪ Our names ♪


[speaking in Kinyarwanda]

[humming continues]