Sweet Dreams, a documentary film about the women in an all-female drum troupe in Rwanda, who together formed a cooperative and opened Rwanda’s first ice cream parlor, will be shown at two special screenings at 7 p.m., March 18 at Unity Church of the Hills, and at 7 p.m., April 1 at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. The documentary is a beautiful and deeply moving story of healing and empowerment, of forgiveness and courage and the power of music to unite. These local screenings are hosted by Sherry Gingras of DRUMZ.
Inzozi Nziza—meaning Sweet Dreams in Kinyarwanda, the official language of Rwanda—is the country’s first ice cream parlor. A Rwandan theatre director, Odile Gakire Katese, opened Inzozi Nzizam along with a group of women from the drum troupe Katese that formed 10 years earlier in an effort to bring healing to the survivors of the 1994 genocide that took place in her country.
Katese had met Alexis Miesen and Jennie Dundas, cofounders of Blue Marble Ice Cream, in Brooklyn, New York, and formed a partnership to open Inzozi Nziza in 2010.
The shop, located in the Rwandan city of Butare, employs nine women that spend their spare time practicing with Ingoma Nshya, Rwanda’s first and only female drumming troupe. The musicians are both Hutu and Tutsi women, some survivors of the genocide during which almost a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by the Hutu majority. Some members of Ingoma Nshya are widows, some orphans. Others have been affected by the massacre in different ways. Historically, Rwandan women were forbidden to drum, but Katese believes, “It’s something which brings joy and hope; healing and unity.”
All profits will go to Ingoma Nshya and their continuing projects to heal and empower women and girls in Rwanda.
Cost: $15. Locations: Unity Church of the Hills, 9905 Anderson Mill Rd.; First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, 4700 Grover Ave., Austin. For more information, call Drumz at 512-453-9090 or visit DrumzAustin.com.