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It seems like a silly question, but when I spoke to Linda Fruchtman on November 22, 2013 about her debut documentary, SWEET DREAMS, it was one that I was very keen to ask. The film follows Rwanda’s first and only women’s drumming troupe as it struggles to open Rwanda’s first and only ice cream shop. Most of the women had never tasted the frozen confection, and I wondered, when they finally got the ice-cream maker up and running and had produced their first batch, if there had been anyone who hadn’t liked it. The question elicited a laugh from Fruchtman, who went on to answer in a way that speaks not just to the effect a new food has on people’s taste buds, but on the deeper, symbolic impact it has on the local culture, including getting used to eating something cold in a place where refrigeration is almost nonexistent. We went on to discuss why drumming had been only for men until Kiki Katese started the Igoma Nyshaya troupe, why she and her brother didn’t think twice about hopping a plane to Rwanda when they heard about the story, the problem of presenting both the horror of the past and the hope for the future these women found, and how profound change can start with something as simple as asking “Why not?”
This may be Fruchtman’s deocumentary feature debut, but she is no stranger to filmmaking, having won an Oscar(tm) for her word as the film editor on THE RIGHT STUFF.
Click the link to listen to the interview (21:51) SWEET DREAMS — Lisa Fruchtman Interview.