Europa - «Based on a True Story»
Text: Giuseppe Di Salvatore
This is probably the most radical film I saw at the Solothurner Filmtage. The documentarist perspective of a Swiss film production, which is often the Swiss one on a foreign country, is completely overturned in Kivu Ruhorahoza’s Europa – «Based on a True Story». Not only is Kivu a Rwandese filmmaker but his focus is London and, through London, Europe.
He tried to tell an essayistic love story with a film, A Tree Has Fallen, but the difficulties suffered in London due to the British conservative anti-migration agenda finally involve both his characters and himself as filmmaker. The fictional tale expands on parallel documentary images of the rallies in London. Here the political identities are often blurred in a common reduction of language and ideas. An intense and intelligent text is squeezed onto an elusive voice-over layer, the narrative lines of fiction and documentary fragment and compose each other. There are enough of these elements to put us at a certain distance, the distance of an intellectual reception, which echoes the distance of Kivu’s migration back to Rwanda (where he tried to complete the “European” film).
In its strengths and weaknesses, Europa – «Based on a True Story» shows an incredible justness, insofar as it expresses the urgency of dialogue through the dismantling power of exclusion and separation.