Fespaco 2019: The Gold stallion of Yennenga goes to Rwanda

Joel Karekezi’s “The mercy of the Jungle” won the highest distinction of this 26th edition of the Pan-African Film and television Festival (Fespaco).

The jury foiled the prognosis by awarding the gold stallion of Yennenga to “The mercy of the Jungle” by Joël Karekezi. The film, in competition in the category “fiction feature films” had been screened at the opening of the festival on February 23rd. But all eyes were turned to Apolline Traoré and her film “Desrances”. Many festival-goers already saw her as the first woman to win the Yennenga stallion. It won’t be for this year, unfortunately.

Joël Karekezi’s “The Mercy of Jungle” is a feature film that speaks of a human experience through a war on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Two people who go through a war of appearance without a way out. Despite the vicissitudes, the two characters come out transformed. Normal, they are Congolese and Rwandan, but forced to stick together to escape the hostility of the jungle and the bullets of war.

“We must follow our dreams. This distinction makes me understand that I have to keep working hard. I have to come back with an even stronger film. So see you very soon”, said Joel Karekezi, a few minutes after receiving his stallion from the hands of President Kaboré of Burkina Faso and Paul Kagame of Rwanda. As a reminder, Rwanda was the country of honour at the Fespaco 2019.

“The mercy of the Jungle” was also received the award for Best Male Performance with Marc Zinga, in the role of Sergeant Xavier.

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