... is the Kinyarwandan word for 'friend'. But not just a regular one, but a really special one.
About such a special friendship, we want to tell you in our movie.
It all started more than 40 years ago. Back then my grandmother Lissi decided to house a little rwandan girl, called Iris. Firstly, Iris lived in Germany with her parents for a couple of months. After her father went away, her mother Flori needed to work for their flights back to Rwanda - and so little Iris had to move into a children’s home.
But then my grandmother heard about the story and quickly said she would house the girl and raise Iris with her own children. And that’s what happened. For 10 months Iris lived in my grandmother’s house and was treated equal to the other kids in the house - my mother and my aunts and uncles. During that time Flori came to visit Iris and my grandmother as often as possible. Flori and Iris became a part of the family.
... two cultures, one house
The different cultures in my grandmother’s house learned a lot from each other. Such as cooking Swabian food or dancing Rwandan dances. Flori and Lissi also became really close friends.They shared not only their free-time by making trips or going to church together, but also their love for their children.
By the time they had to return to Rwanda everybody was extremely sad to say goodbye. They decided they must managed to stay in contact. They wrote letters and had phone-calls.
How to keep this friendship up?
After high school my mother and her sister even went to Rwanda to visit Flori and Iris and the rest of their big family. They were warmly welcomed into the family, just like Iris and Flori back in the days, or when Flori came to visit Lissi some years later again. The occasional visits strengthened the relationship between the families over the year.
As time went by both families kept each other up to date and supported one another. Especially during the time of the Rwandan genozid in 1994, Flori’s family really needed the help.
... and today
Right now both families are doing great. Iris is married and lives a happy life in Rwanda. Flori got two more children and lives together with one of her sons in Rwanda as well.
Today Flori, just like Lissi, is the head of a big family. Both still like to take care of their children and grandchildren. Flori still knows how to cook Swabian food and loves to speak German. Lissi still admires the Rwandan culture eventhough she didn’t dance for a while.
I have always known little parts about our connection to Rwanda, but not the whole story. During a family occasion I broght the subject up with my grandmother. She told me what happened back then and how she stayed in contact with Flori. After this chat I couldn't stop thinking about the story and the experiences my family had been through. So I told Franzi about it: When she first heard it, she was like : "Man, you gotta tell that story! You have to find out more! Share it with all those who are still afraid of other cultures!" And I really liked that idea, so we started discussing things and brainstorming.
And now we’re making our debut movie togehter.
We’re speaking to all the protagonists about their experiences and memories about their time together. That includes a trip to Rwanda. We’ll live in Flori’s family in her house and will explore the hospitality first hand. We want to find out what made this connection so special. What does it take to have a stable friendship for over 40 years, if you’re 6.000 km apart and live in completely different cultures?
... our three goals
We want to connect the different pieces together and complete this beautiful family story. A story about different cultures that lived together in friendship and harmony. A story about two families that took a risk and shared everything with strangers. A story about dropping prejudice, helping people in need and learning from different cultures.
Apart of this, we want to learn more about the country Rwanda itself, where the first generation after the genozid is bulding up their future. There are lot's of interesting things developing, like start ups or innovative projects. And nobody really knows about them. So we also want to show the world the new face ot Rwanda.
Additionally we want to encourage other people with our project. We think that this story can give a vivid insight into how inclusion can work and what kinds of perks it can have for everyone involved.
Let's all be Inshutis
We hope to portray a positive image that will help some lose their fear of foreign people and instead see different cultures as a chance to learn something new - as a chance to make new friends, "Inshutis", all over the world.
What we’ve got
So far we’ve accompanied my grandmother Lissi in her everyday life. This included, among other things, going to church, preparing diner, visiting my grandfather’s grave and take part in a birthday celebration. I have also had a long and interesting conversation with Lissi about her memories and thoughts.
As well as this, we filmed a conversation with my mother Annelie. She told us more about the families’ connection and how they stayed in contact after Flori went back to Rwanda. We also found some old pictures and a Super-8 movie from my mother’s visit in Rwanda in 1976.
What we need
The next step will be our own journey to Rwanda to visit Flori’s family. There we’ll show their everyday life and have different interviews with the family members. Although we can live in Flori’s house, we still need financial support. This support would be used to aid in funding our trip, I.e. buying flights or giving Flori a little something for having us. And to spread our message as far as possible.
This is us.
We are both media science and education science students at the University of Tübingen. We also live together in a pretty cool group house. We're really exited about our project and until now working and living togehter works surprisingly awesomely. We want to develope and work on the story equally, but still everybody needs it's own issues, of course.
Niels Bauder, grandson of Lissi
I’m interested in every kind of media but prefer the most producing movies and designing stuff. Since this is my own family story this time I'll try myself as a director and reporter. I want to tell my family’s story from the first hand experience. Thererfore I’ll just be myself and show you how the different protagonists treat me with hopsitality and love.
To learn more about me and my background, go to my profil here on kickstarter or visit my website http://nielsbauder.com/.
I love every kind of photography - especially capturing special moments with the camera and making things visible, things you sometimes wouldn't even see with the naked eye. Even more, I love, that the camera gives me the possibility to share these moments with others and allows me to tell unique stories. So my role for INSHUTI is to accompany Niels on his journey and to capture this story as authentically and closely as possible.
I worked with different companys as the german broadcaster SWR, the News Channel KCRA3 Sacramento, California or the film production company "Bausch-Moser GbR". To see an example of the work I have filmed and produced so far, go on: https://vimeo.com/bauschmoser. I gotta do an update though, sorry.
Risks and challenges
As Leo said: TIA - This is Africa.
We just don’t know what kind of struggles we’ll have to face whilst shooting in Rwanda. Although we have planned the trip a lot and tried to think of every possible situation, some things will no doubt take us by surprise. Anyway we’ll cover our entire experience, share it with you and do everything in our power to produce a spectacular piece of cinematic work.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)