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Playing at the Mead on Saturday, December 1: Sweet Dreams

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The documentary Sweet Dreams, playing at the Mead Film Festival on Saturday, December 1, is a story of firsts: the formation of the Rwanda’s first and only all-female drumming troupe, Ingoma Nshya, and the group’s effort to open Rwanda’s first ice cream shop, in some cases introducing the treat to people who have never before tasted ice cream.


There is palpable exuberance in both efforts as an energized group of women strive to break through traditional barriers with their musical performances and prove they are capable of founding and running a business, aided by a Brooklyn ice cream maker, who is drawn in after a serendipitous meeting with the music troupe’s founder.

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But the story does not stop there. Running through this exhilarating narrative is a somber reality: the scars of the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 Rwandans died at the hands of their own countrymen. The women in this film are determined to heal those wounds by allowing anyone who is qualified to join, regardless of their role in the conflict. In a moving scene of reconciliation, widows and orphans perform beside relatives of those who killed their loved ones.  Individual stories, heartbreaking in the telling, add poignancy to this amazing story of hope—and the sheer happiness of making music.

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To kick off the screening of Sweet Dreams at the Mead, the Museum will feature the Camden, New Jersey-based Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble, performing in the spirit of Ingoma Nshya in a special program at 4 pm in the Hall of Birds of the World (free with Museum admission.)

For the screening of Sweet Dreams, held at 6 pm on Saturday, December 1, audience members will be joined by filmmakers Rob Fruchtman and Lisa Fruchtman, who will hold a discussion after the documentary.

The film screening is co-presented by the Museum for African Art.

Ticketholders for the 6 pm screening will receive ice cream courtesy of Brooklyn’s Blue Marble Ice Cream.

Click here to purchase tickets.

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