Episode 2 – Black Earth Rising

Welcome back, curious people! 

After the historical overview of the topic and the framework of our podcast project presented in the first episode of the podcast, we now want to start off our journey and talk about how literature and art create, shape, and restore our collective memory. 

As a starting point, we chose the BBC mini series Black Earth Rising (2018), written and directed by Hugo Blick. Although the series is easily accessible (you can watch it on Netflix), the plot is quite demanding. It follows the fictional story of Kate Ashby (Michaela Coel), a survivor of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda, working as a criminal investigator in England. Together with Michael Ennis (John Goodman), she uncovers the truth about the genocide against the Tutsis and herself in the process. While the series’ plot begins with the attempt to prosecute war criminals, the series delves into greater issues of international justice, memory, and forgiveness. 

In order to get a deeper insight into the series, we asked one of the main actors of the show, Ronald Guttman, for an interview. The Belgian actor and producer plays quite an unsympathetic and dubious character in the series, quite unlike the actor himself, and represents the French government during the time leading up to the genocide. He advised the Elysée palace to support the Hutu regime as it prepared for genocide, and years later, sets several plot threads of the series in motion. 

In our critical conversation we asked Ronald Guttman about his preparation for shooting a series about the genocide and his experience on set. We also touched upon the question of what in the series are historical facts and what is fiction, the educational aspects of TV series and television, as well as the role of literature and art in dealing with trauma and creating a collective memory. 

We cordially invite you to participate in this debate about the series and hope you enjoy listening to it.

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and viewpoints of (Re)membering Rwanda. 

The opinions of our interviewees are based upon information they consider reliable, but (Re)membering Rwanda doesn’t warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such.
Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ehtnic group, club, organization or individual.

Original tone of the series was kindly provided by Drama Republic.

Curious to learn more? Click here to find a list of useful resources and links connected to the topics of our episodes:


%d bloggers like this: