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Documentary filmmaker strives to aid refugees

Thu, 11 Apr 2013 05:12:48 CDT
By: Laura Kennedy

Documentary filmmaker strives to aid refugees Chicago documentary producer Scott Erlinder is screening his new film at Illinois State University tomorrow. "Stateless" reveals the plight of Rwandan refugees who will lose their refugee status in June when the UN's Cessation Clause will go into effect. The clause makes those who have sought asylum "stateless people" if they do not return to Rwanda. Erlinder says the political climate in Rwanda is too dangerous for many refugees to return.
The filmmaker managed to produce "Stateless" without setting foot in Rwanda. Erlinder's brother alienated the Rwandan government with his work on the International Criminal Tribunal, making a journey to the country too risky for the filmmaker. Erlinder's solution was to send video cameras to volunteers in Africa in order to gather footage.


One of the refugee volunteers who was filming the stories of Rwandan refugees was Mutuyimana Manzi, who soon found himself in dire circumstances due to his participation in the documentary.


It was too dangerous for Manzi to remain in Africa once word spread of his efforts to reveal the stories of Rwandan refugees, so Erlinder and his wife, Ginger, helped to bring the refugee to the United States. Manzi will be appearing along with Scott and Ginger Erlinder at a screening of the documentary "Stateless" tomorrow at 3 PM in Room 118 of the ISU Center for the Visual Arts.

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