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Sweet Dreams

SWEET DREAMS follows a remarkable group of Rwandan women as they emerge from the devastation of the 1994 genocide to create a new future for themselves through drumming and ice cream. In the words of Kiki Katese, the founding member, “Because of our history, people know how to fight against, but not for. We want to change that equation.”

Director: Lisa Fruchtman, Rob Fruchtman
Year: 2012
Time: 89 min

 Sweet Dreams
(2012) on IMDb

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Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give others the chance to learn and be inspired from its story.

Support Blue Marble Ice Cream, Alexis Miesen and Jennie Dundas company that continue to support women in conflict or natural disaster torn areas by helping them open ice cream shops.

Consider supporting the filmmakers and their outreach campaign, either by donating to Women Make Movies or directly to the filmmakers

Learn about Bpeace, the organization that Alexis and Jennie initially worked with, which helped them formulate their idea on how to open an ice cream shop in Rwanda. 

Support The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women that is involved in “Skilling for Change in Rwanda,” to enable women to be economically independent.

Related Articles and Resources

Interview With the Director

“The film, SWEET DREAMS, begins with a group of Rwandan women drumming, and in those rhythmic beats lies a story of unimaginable loss, but also of hope. In this exclusive interview with Lisa Fruchtman, director of the new feature documentary, Skoll World Forum’s Rahim Kanani asks about the origins of the project, what audiences should take away, and much more.”

Read the full interview on Skoll World Forum.

Film Discussion

Watch a discussion of the documentary film SWEET DREAMS at UN Headquarters, featuring Producers and directors Lisa and Rob Fruchtman, Theater director, actor, writer and founder of Rwanda’s first all-female drumming troupe Odile “Kiki” Katese, and Founders of Blue Marble Ice Cream Alexis Miesen and Jennie Dundas.

Ten Years On, Ingoma Nshya Looks To Self-sufficiency

Read the article on the New Times.

Rwanda – 20 Years After the Genocide

“This year, as Rwanda marks the 20th commemoration of the genocide, it is remarkable to see the progress the country has made. For the last five years, my foundation – the Africa Governance Initiative – which provides countries with the capacity to deliver practical change, has been operating in Rwanda…”

Read the full article on the Guardian.

Drum Therapy

“Drum therapy is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. From the shamans of Mongolia to the Minianka healers of West Africa, therapeutic rhythm techniques have been used for thousands of years to create and maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health.”

Find out more here.

The History of Ice Cream

Ice cream’s origins are known to reach back as far as the second century B.C.

Read all about it on PBS’s The History Kitchen.

The Art of Remembering and Forgetting

“If you arrive in Rwanda today to witness ceremonies commemorating the genocide that began here 20 years ago, you might expect the country to be a mournful place (…) But today Rwanda bears few obvious scars of its cataclysm. Its rapidly modernizing capital, Kigali, is one of the jewel cities of Africa.”

This is the third in a three-part series on the genocide in Rwanda. Read the first part here. Read the second part  here.


“The ingoma is a drum covered with a membrane of animal skin. The top of the drum is always broader than the bottom. The ingoma is usually cylindrical in form, tapering only in the lower section of the instrument, although the drum shell can also taper gradually over its entire length. Making an ingoma is a long and delicate process and is therefore entrusted to specialised drum makers, assisted by a woodworker who prepares the hide.”

Continue reading here.


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