Rwanda: Words of Silence

French soldiers based in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide stand accused of raping the women who sought refuge with them. 

Prisca, Marie-Jeanne and Concessa say they survived the Rwandan genocide and sought safety in refugee camps, only to be repeatedly raped and abused by the French soldiers sent there to protect them. All describe similar horrors: abduction from their tent, the gang rapes, and the photos of the assaults taken by the soldiers. “We naively thought that the white man was a saviour, that he would bring peace,” sighs one of the women. While the French army denies all accusations of rape, the three women filed a complaint with the French courts in 2004 and 2012. The investigation is now at a standstill. 

As time goes by, the survivors are concerned with preserving the memory for themselves and their community. In this film, Concessa, Prisca and Jeanne return to the sites of their crimes and recount what happened. 

A reflection on the unspeakable and the power of words, on the weight of silence. 


  • Year: 2022
  • Duration: 52 & 60 mins
  • Production: Babel & Iyugi
  • Director: Michaël Sztanke & Gaël Faye
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France & Rwanda


  • Audience Award at Festival du Film Francophone d'Angoulême 2022 (France), DIG Awards 2022 ( Italy), FIGRA 2022 (France), Global Health Film Festival 2022 (UK), Festival du Documentaire sur la Justice 2023 (France)

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