The Twa, Hutu, and Tutsi peoples predominate in Burundi; under German and later Belgian colonial rule, Burundi and Rwanda formed a single entity called Ruandi-Urundi. At the time of independence in 1961, the Burundian monarch was King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng, and the current President of Burundi is Pierre Nkurunziza.
Like neighbouring Rwanda, tensions between the Tutsi and Hutu people have led to political and social upheaval. The plight of Burundian refugees who fled amidst civil war and ethnic conflict is examined in a recent documentary, Home Free. More recently, since the signing of ceasefire agreements between different groups, Burundi has moved towards recovery and reconstruction; a reported 450,000 refugees have since returned to the country. The story of Burundi's rebuilding partly examined in Life After Violence.
Whilst a history of conflict has impeded cultural output, Burundi has produced a number of internationally acclaimed films. With a deft, humorous touch, Burundian director Léonce Ngabo's 1992 film Gito l'Ingrat follows the travails of a Burundian returnee who, armed with prestigious foreign degrees and European-infused confidence, returns to change his country and its people.
In literature, Richard Wilson's Titanic Express is a poignant story of sadness and mourning. Strength In What Remains follows a Burundian student from Burundi to New York where he encounters new challenges.