Rebecca is a 24 years old Rwandan LGBTI activist, accomplished actress and aspiring filmmaker. She believes film is a powerful medium to do advocacy and to change cultural attitudes through personal storytelling.
In essence the film “Home” is about identity and refuge. As the writer and director Rebecca was inspired to bring this story to the screen when she was exposed as gay and had to leave Rwanda for Uganda, which made her think about those who had to leave the country in 1994 during the Genocide Against the Tutsi, because of who they were and their identity. Through “Home” she wants to show people that we are all the same, but if we keep thinking about our differences, genocide will never truly end, but will, rather, always exist in one form or another. 25 years after the Rwandan Genocide, one of the most brutal and deadliest tragedies in human history, the people of Rwanda continue to work toward reconciliation and unity as a nation. Ironically the LGBTQ community continues to be ostracized and not included in the freedoms being given to “all Rwandans”.
Rwandans have become sensitive to conversation about the 1994 genocide which left approximately 1 million people dead in a span of 100 days, yet in large part, despite the call for “moving forward”, still openly verbalize the desire for individuals to be killed for being gay. I hope that “Home” will be the first film for this generation to attract attention to the plight and danger of being gay in Rwanda. Most artists are unable to tell their stories out of fear of potential consequences, similar to what I have experienced. This film is a story that needs to be told to begin to shed light on the injustices suffered by the LGBTQ community in Rwanda and this region of the world. The questions raised in “Home” are questions that need to be asked, not only in Rwanda, but in the rest of the world to begin the long journey toward equality and human rights in this region.
“Home” provides a unique window into being gay in Rwanda. A family in the midst of a crisis discovers that one of its members is gay and struggles to find meaning and acceptance. Each individual family member meanwhile is confronted with his/her own personal moral dilemmas as the stigma of being gay is highlighted.