Jurisdiction in Africa

Rwanda, the Hills Speak

Bernard Bellefroid
Belgium 2005 | 50 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU
Rwanda, eleven years after the Tutsi geno­cide – The pro­vi­sion­al gov­ern­ment has imple­ment­ed an extra­or­di­nary law enforce­ment pro­ce­dure, the Gacaca-courts, in order to bring per­sons accused of crimes against human­i­ty … read more


Kim Longinotto
Cameroon, Great Britain 2005 | 106 Min. | 35 mm, OmeU

Set in Kumba Town, Cameroon, SISTERS IN LAW is a pow­er­ful case study of a soci­ety in tran­si­tion. The film cap­tures the legal pro­ceed­ings and court­room drama sur­round­ing sev­er­al heart-felt sto­ries. Six-year-old Grace was beaten by her way­ward aunt. Young Sonita was raped by a neigh­bour, but is brave enough to do some­thing about it. The sub­dued Amina seeks divorce from an abu­sive hus­band. Instead of play­ing vic­tims, the women are empow­ered by the sup­port­ive cli­mate cre­at­ed by Judge Beat­rice Ntaba and State Pros­e­cu­tor Vera Ngassa, who foster courage in them every day. Master film­mak­er Kim Longinot­to has a com­pas­sion­ate camera eye, and an uncan­ny abil­i­ty to be at the right place at the right time - always in the moment, dis­creet, cul­tur­al­ly aware and sen­si­tive. Co-direc­tor Flo­rence Ayisi, who grew up in Kumba, believes the film will make people think beyond the stereo­types about Africa: “It shows wom­en’s courage, strength and deter­mi­na­tion to break away from their vio­lent lives with the sup­port of their sis­ters in the judi­cial system.” This film moves us into an emo­tion­al, human­ist space, one which pro­vides pos­i­tive hope for real change.