Sweet Dreams

(USA, 2013, 83 mins, DCP)
Presented with the help of City of Vancouver


It sounds like a Hollywood feel-good movie. In the aftermath of genocide, a group of women get together and form a collective, Ingoma Nshya, the first women’s drumming group in the history of Rwanda (where the drum has always been a male domain).

Impressive enough, but this is where the dream turns sweet: founder member Kiki Kakase came to New York to participate in a theatre lab, and came across a store: Blue Marble Ice Cream. She had never tasted anything like it. "I want to open an ice cream shop in my home town," she announced. And remarkably, Blue Marble owners Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen agreed to come to Kigali and help introduce ice cream to Rwanda.

Mixing music with dessert, this doc proves there is always light at the end of the turnnel. But sibling filmmakers Lisa and Rob Fruchtman don’t shy away from the darkness either, whether it’s recollecting the horrors of the genocide twenty years ago, or showing the endemic poverty that makes even such an apparently simple enterprise as opening an ice-cream parlor a monumental challenge in this part of the world.

Post screening entertainment will be a drumming performance by women drummers led by Jacky Essombe.

Originally from Cameroon, Jacky Essombe grew up in Paris and now lives in Vancouver. She has toured in Canada, the United States and Europe with major recording artists and has appeared on television and radio in Canada and France. From 2006 to 2007 she was the host of a weekly television show on the French CBC TV channel called "A la Carte".

"It’s utterly rousing watching the women master their instruments and then push past the birth pains of their new business enterprise, and it’s completely wrenching as their individual backstories unfold. The vibrantly filmed Dreams (the Rwandan landscape is breathtaking) is a powerful entry in the list of documentaries charting the country’s rebirth, illustrating the unexpected ways the human spirit reinvents itself after enduring the unthinkable." Ernest Hardy, LA Weekly

"Wonderful… Moving… Engrossing. An affecting celebration of the human spirit. Contagious joy abounds." Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner

"A movie that will bring you to tears." Deena Shanker, Village Voice