What do two women, separated by distance, cultures and worlds, have in common? Director Goran Kapetanovic sets out to discover just that in his compelling short, Kiruna-Kigali. It is the midst of winter, and Eva is driving frantically to the hospital in a little Swedish town. In Rwanda, as the scorching sun beats down, 18-year-old Malika is about to give birth. Her baby is turned the wrong way around, and her life is in danger. Her village has no adults ever since the civil war broke out.
Kapetanovic looks at both these women, drawing us into their lives and their struggles, almost simultaneously. Thirty-nine-year-old Eva is grimly determined to handle everything on her own, even when her water breaks mid-journey. Malika, on the other hand, hopes that they will reach the hospital in time – if she doesn’t get help, she and her baby will both die.
Though taking part in two different parts of the world, Kapetanovic skilfully weaves their disparate stories together, giving us a glimpse into common humanity. These women’s lives are intertwined in ways we cannot fathom. By the end of the film, they – and we – no longer seem to be worlds apart.