Birds are Singing in Kigali

Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali

In this visually striking and perceptive analysis of trauma, Anna and Claudine return to Poland after witnessing the Rwandan massacres.


Dir-Scr Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze
Prod Joanna Kos-Krauze
With Jowita Budnik, Eliane Umuhire, Wirold Wielinski
Prod Co Kos Film

Reeling with the psychological impact of the Rwandan genocide, Polish ornithologist Anna and her Tutsi friend Claudine embark on creating a new life. Claudine, the daughter of Anna’s colleague and a victim of the genocide, is accepted as a refugee by the Polish authorities. From there, the film deals with the parallel but differing effects of trauma. Underlying themes are gradually revealed, with the use of flashback and voiceover adding a powerful metaphorical context. Avoiding explicit accounts of the atrocities, the film’s exploration of ‘white’ and ‘black’ realities also exposes the bureaucratic and frequently inhuman obstacles faced by refugees. Their intertwined lives eventually find Anna and Claudine returning to Rwanda in search of the graves of Claudine’s lost relatives, and perhaps some resolution. Directed by Johanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze, there are powerful performances by Jowita Budnik (who starred in the directors’ earlier Papusza) and Eliana Umahire.

Peter Hames

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Joanna Kos-Krauze, Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.