The tragedy of Rwanda has been explored in many films to date, but none so as harrowing as Le jour. By capturing the story of a single woman who escapes into the jungle following the murder of her two children, the tragedy somehow becomes more tangible, more personal. There is no graphic depiction of murder nor violence, nor the usual sensationalising of human loss. Without her children, Jacqueline loses her will to live, but the man she rescues still believes that life can be rebuilt; that there is still a future.

The film is a contrasting exposition in nature vs humanity – survival vs losing the reason to live. However, the film would have benefited from refined direction. The main character Jacqueline is slightly underdeveloped, despite the fact that she is the focus for most of the film; as well as the fact that many scenes that were intended to serve as a vehicle for loss and loss of will to live come across as tedious instead of uncomfortable. Nevertheless, a fine debut from this director who previously worked as a cinematographer, clearly evident in the beautiful and lush scenery of Rwanda, a stark contrast to the horror that lies within.

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