Making the Film
. . .
How it Started
A note from the director:
Coexist is a project that began with my first visit to Rwanda in 2006. I saw the remarkable progress that many Rwandans had made in the 12 years since the genocide. Inspired to try to share their stories with a much broader audience, in the summer of 2008 I set out to make this documentary film and engage students here in the U.S to work to build coexistence around our country and the world.
Over the next year with the help of dozens of friends, family, advisers, volunteers, and donors we raised $90,000 for pre-production and production.
Going to Rwanda
In July and August of 2009 our filmmaking team traveled to Rwanda where we documented the work of three varied non-governmental organizations who try to encourage healing and reconciliation: Reconciliation, Evangelism And, Christian Healing (REACH) in Rwanda, Africa Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI), and Rwanda Youth Healing Center (RYHC). Through these organizations we saw the possibilities and difficulties of repairing Rwandans traumatized psyches and trying to rebuild peaceful coexistence.
As you can read in the dispatches from Rwanda from July & August, we conducted dozens of interviews and met people who have suffered unbelievably. Many struggled to tell their stories so that we might learn from their experiences. Some firmly believe in reconciliation and say that they have reconciled with killers who murdered their families. Some suggested the government is pushing reconciliation on Rwandans. They worry what the result of forced reconciliation will be. These people feared what might happen to them if people inside Rwanda heard their thoughts.
Creating the Film
In 2009-2010 we edited the film in a unique partnership at Tech Superpowers in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Now that the film is complete we are continuing to engage schools and community groups in conversations around Coexist about reconciliation, forgiveness, and interrupting the cycle of violence so that we may create a new generation of leaders trained in bringing together their fellow citizens.
–Adam Mazo, Coexist Director
See photos from production in Rwanda in our photo gallery.