Balthazar is a young African filmmaker on the brink of directing his first project, The Cycle of the Cockroach, a fictional story about a young woman who survived unspeakable atrocities only to find herself committed to the same mental institution as a man driven insane by the crimes he perpetrated during the war. Potential funders for the film insist the themes are too bleak and pessimistic-they encourage Balthazar to make a "message" film that raises awareness about gender-based violence or HIV/AIDS instead. But he refuses to give up. Instead of telling his production team the news, Balthazar continues preparations for the film without financing or equipment. After rehearsing a scene with each of the characters, reality blurs and scenes from the script materialize, provoking the question: Can a film like this exist only in the director's dreams? Armed with a daring and creative visual language, writer/director Kivu Ruhorahoza boldly grasps at the illusory trick of representation in the wake of trauma and its ensuing madness. Paralleling the protagonist in his film, Ruhorahoza's debut marks the very first feature-length narrative film directed by a Rwandan filmmaker living in his homeland.
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