Miracle In Rwanda

A truly extraordinary story of survival, only weakened by a creeping evangelical message

Review by Sam Friedman | 07 Aug 2007

Miracle in Rwanda is the remarkable story of Immaculee Ilibagiza, a young Tutsi woman who survived the Rwandan genocide by hiding with seven other Tutsis in the tiny bathroom of a local Hutu pastor. In three brutal months of massacre, one million Rwandans were wiped out, including Immaculee’s entire family. Despite countless searches and severe malnutrition, the eight stowaways survived the ordeal, finally escaping to the safety of a French military base.

It is a truly extraordinary story, ably brought to life by American actress Leslie Lewis Sword. In a series of whirlwind scenes, Sword moves seamlessly between 10 main characters, conveying in particular how Immaculee’s faith in God gave her the mental strength to survive.

However, while this is clearly important, the creeping evangelical message starts to become a little stifling towards the end. For many, telling such a horrific story from a perspective of faith will only heighten theological reflection. For others, it may become a little didactic.