Is it always true that what doesnt kill you makes you stronger? Back Home reveals the remarkable true story of 27-year-old J.B. Rutagarama. Like all Tutsis, he was marked for murder in Rwanda's 1994 genocide. Despite several close calls with machete-wielding militias, J.B. managed to survive. The rest of his family was not so lucky.
As J.B. fled Rwanda, he met two television reporters who changed his life: they took him in, fed him, and eventually became his surrogate parents in New York, where J.B. went to college and got a job. But as luck would have it, J.B. was starting his brand new job on 9/11 -- and got a horrifying, close-up look at the carnage. Overwhelmed by the destruction of the attacks, J.B. decides to go back to Rwanda and come to terms with the fates of his family members, as well as the fates of nearly one million Rwandans.
Director J.B. Rutagarama includes an impressive amount of footage from the Rwandan massacre, footage that was at one point confiscated by soldiers and only given back when some was cut out. The images of war intertwined with Rutagaramas personal footage of healing create a powerful contrast that evokes despair and hope. Back Home is a painful journey of intense emotions, but one well worth taking.
Preceded by: Smitten; dir. Nancy Kelly; 27min; A love story about 85-year-old Rene di Rosa, an unusual art collector whose goal is neither about interior decorating nor increasing social status, but about the pure joy of discovery.