This 55-minute documentary film features a Rwanda-based grassroots justice system called the Gacaca Tribunals. Gacaca is an attempt to unify a nation that in the early 1990s experienced politically motivated ethnic killings - more than 800,000 of the country's Tutsi minority, and many Hutu moderates, died in the genocide. Citizens will act as judges in an attempt to democratise the justice system. By exploring the process of building and sustaining this new justice system, the film portrays the Tutsi and Hutu peoples' struggles to rebuild their lives and communities by dealing with the emotional trauma of their past and reconciling their deep differences.
The film's director, Anne Aghion, spent six weeks recording stories of survivors and prisoners, and their visions of the future. The film crew was present when nearly 1,000 local residents gathered for the first of a series of open-air "Pre-Gacaca" hearings, which are designed to clear the prisons of innocent detainees and to educate Rwandans about the Gacaca trials to come.
The film was featured in 2003 at the African Film Festival and Human Rights Watch International Film Festival.