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Things of the Aimless Wanderer

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

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Things of the Aimless Wanderer

Kivu Ruhorahoza, UK/Rwanda, 2015, 78 minutes Birkbeck Cinema

Friday 16 February 6.00 pm Presenter: Kivu Ruhorahoza (Moon Road Films)
Organizer: Soody Gholami (Birkbeck) Discussant: Mpalive Msiska (Birkbeck)

'Kivu Ruhorahoza's arresting feature reveals a series of cryptic and loosely connected narrative shards. Each depicts an uneasy encounter between an African woman and a male figure of authority or menace, be he a nineteenth century white explorer, a twenty-first century Western journalist, or a Rwandan man performing reconnaissance for a shadowy internal agency. In each story, a female figure is an object of lust, surveillance, fascination or violence, inevitably disappearing from the narrative. Every disappearance becomes a sort of chorus, punctuated by enigmatic images and haunting musical soundscapes. Considering the film's title ('aimless wanderer' originally described hapless European explorers), one might indeed ask whether the female avatar of these stories may be a metaphor for Rwanda itself: colonized, objectified, and struggling to calibrate cultural gains, including gains for women, with reactionary policies and sentiments. Such questions haunt the periphery of this provocative film whose narrative core remains a reservoir of mystery.'

Sundance Festival website

'To be absolutely mesmerized by a film, I mean totally transfixed, is a rare happening in cinema, but should be the norm, right? Rwandan director Kivu Ruhorahoza's Things Of The Aimless Wanderer is just such a film. Spectacular and ambitious in all its working parts, it catapults cutting-edge African cinema onto the world stage with the intensity of a new religion.'

Ben Umstead, Screenanarchy

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BIMI is funded by four schools at Birkbeck: the School of Arts, the School of Law, the School of Social Sciences,
History and Philosophy, and the School of Science. The University of Pittsburgh is also a partner and co-funder.

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