A group of women chose the name “Sweet Dreams.” They constructed a future from a past more devastating than anyone reading this can understand.
“Sweet Dreams” is the name of their ice cream shop. These women had never before tasted ice cream, much less formed a business. Many of them sweated to find ten dollars, an expected share of the cooperative enterprise.
The sign atop the shop reads “Inzozi Nziza.” It means “Sweet Dreams” in Butare, Rwanda. It’s the first ice cream store in Rwanda. How’s that for an untapped market share?
Before their imaginations flew business class, these women formed a drumming group, the first women’s drumming group in Rwanda. Everyone in the group had family murdered in the 1994 genocide or had family who did the murdering. The death toll was nearly a million. Putting that past behind, they beat up drums with healing, sharing and joyous energy forward.
There did not seem to be rules forbidding women to drum in Rwanda. Women just didn’t. Now they do. There certainly were no rules forbidding ice cream in Rwanda. No one had thought to make it. Now they do.
See the documentary “Sweet Dreams.” Follow the story of these women, these drummers, these dreamers. Share in their infectious arc toward a better life. Learn something of the pain they suffered and can’t help but carry their whole lives.
See some of the obstacles they faced, including an ice cream making machine saved by a service technician the day before the shop’s announced grand opening. The film might have shown us more about the humbling history and ongoing life of these women. It might have shown us more about how unlikely it is to cobble together the human capabilities and such unfamiliar stuff in equatorial Africa.
Maybe it is fair to inspired hope that this film chose not to dwell on the negative and the horrible. It’s rare to want a movie to be longer. “Sweet Dreams” is such a movie.