A film by Ndimbira Claudine Shenge (Student, Rwanda/2015/16:31)
Uwamahoro Marie Merci (“Mahoro”) is a young woman in the southern province of Rwanda. Her father died during the genocide in 1994, and her mother died four years later when Mahoro was six years old. Mahoro had to live alone because her family could not take care of her. She dropped out of primary school. In the film we follow her daily life. She is a young mother of three children who cares for her youngest child alone in poverty as a prostitute. Because of her dire circumstances, her second child forgets that Mahoro is her mother. Mahoro relishes the opportunity to clean because she feels so dirty inside from her prostitution. When she is not washing clothes, she is washing dishes or washing her kid. She wants her children to become educated so they are not stuck in poverty, too.
About Ndimbira Claudine Shenge
& Director’s Statement
Ndimbira Claudine (Shenge) is a young Rwandan female filmmaker residing in Kigali. At the age of 15, she began writing stories. In 2012, she began taking short courses in digital film making at the Kwetu Film Institute after high school. In March 2013, she participated in the animation workshop at the Luxor International Film Festival. In July 2013 she wrote and directed her first short film called “My mother, My hero” in a workshop called Girls Make Movies, during the Rwanda Film Festival.
From March-August 2014, as coordinator for the short film project “Shed Light on Your Rights,” she produced two fiction films, “Impuruza” and “She,” and directed another film called “SHE.” Ndimbira has participated in several workshops by the Europäisches Filmzentrum Babelsberg (EFB) in partnership with Kwetu Film Institute, where she directed her first short documentary “Hora Mama.”
“Hora Mama” was inspired by the complex reality for poor mothers. A mother can care so deeply about her daughter that she prostitutes herself. A mother can thrive in a life that she does not want her children to live. A mother can be broken but never cry. Ndimbira has developed a relationship with Mahoro, the mother in “Hora Mama,” and finds that the story of her struggle has forever affected her understanding of reality for women.