‘Goodness in Rwanda’ – Documentary Screening
Sunday May 3, 2015 – The Tarragon Theatre, Near Studio
Time: 12 Noon
Panel Discussion to follow the screening
A collaboration between the Tarragon Theatre, Volcano Theatre & Smallboy Productions
Tickets: $12 at the Tarragon Theatre Box Office – 416.531.1827
After winning the Audience Choice award at Reelworld Film Festival in Toronto and the Best Documentary award at the Thin Line Festival in Denton, Texas, Tara Hughes and Gord Rand are pleased to announce a screening of their feature documentary Goodness in Rwanda at the Tarragon Theatre on May 3, 2015, in collaboration with the Tarragon Theatre and Volcano Theatre.
The massive international success of Michael Redhill’s award winning play Goodness prompted an invite from the Festival Arts Azimut in Rwanda in 2009. The play, an exposition on the nature of genocide, asks the question, Why do good people rush to do evil and what do they become? And while Redhill’s elliptical narrative compelled visceral performances from the veteran cast, the series of shows in Rwanda would prove to be a challenge unlike anything that the troupe had ever faced. In performing a play about genocide to an audience who had experienced it firsthand, the group from Toronto’s Volcano Theatre could not conceive of the reaction they would receive. Hughes and Rand decided to document the journey.
Enlisting the support of celebrated DOP John Westheuser (Shake Hands with the Devil, Triage, Life with Murder), Gord Rand (Combat Hospital, Shaw Festival) and Tara Hughes (Manhattan Undying, Stratford Festival) set off with the troupe for Rwanda. Goodness in Rwanda is their feature debut.
Made by the artists themselves, the film presents an unfiltered look at the political delicacy and emotional rawness of mounting Goodness in Rwanda. The resulting film provides an honest, unflinching, and entirely original glimpse into the nature of evil and the unexpected possibility of forgiveness. This April marked the 21st Anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Against the backdrop of those physical scars of brutality, the film explores the healing concepts that develop through cultural exchange as the players undergo a transformative process that empowers their experience.
Explains Rand: “When we took the film to the Kendu Hearth Symposium in Kampala, Uganda, there was heated discussion around cultural appropriation. Who has the right to tell the stories of others? When we premiered in Toronto, audience talked about Western guilt in the face of atrocity, the role of the artist in society. Wherever we go with the film, there is a powerful reaction to the sheer fact that these Western artists dared to try to connect to Rwandans on a subject they clearly owned through experience. Even though the play is not about Rwanda specifically, it is about genocide. And with events unfolding in many countries around the world today, genocide awareness had never been more important. We are hoping to build awareness and continue the conversation in Toronto.”
Goodness in Rwanda is an immersive road movie about the power of theatre, the nature of evil, and the reality of forgiveness.
They can’t have known when they set out that the healing would prove more important than the horror, but it’s what they discovered, and it’s believable. (Robert Cushman, National Post: Canada.)
Directed by Gord Rand and John Westheuser, Produced by Tara Hughes
For the full media kit or screener copy, contact Tara Hughes, Producer, at (416) 894-7579 or at
Gord Rand and Tara Hughes are available for telephone or email interviews before the screening.