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Time Machine: Rwanda - Do Scars Ever Fade? (2004)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  19 December 2004 (USA)
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 15 users  
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Title: Time Machine: Rwanda - Do Scars Ever Fade? (TV Movie 2004)

Time Machine: Rwanda - Do Scars Ever Fade? (TV Movie 2004) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Voice of Janet
Susan Lay ...
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The killing finally stopped, the suffering did not...

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Documentary

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19 December 2004 (USA)  »

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$250,000 (estimated)
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1.33 : 1
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Voices Over the Air
7 May 2010 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I don't have a TeeVee so I often encounter proselytizers who sing; "but there are SOME good things on TeeVee."

Here is something that is worthwhile, almost.

I have a need to quickly understand the Rwandan genocide, so checked this out. About 70% of this is what policymakers in the 50s thought all TeeVee would become. TeeVee was then, what the Internet was ten or even five years ago: something that promised to change the world — for the better. Schools might go away, knowledge will be shared by the people, literacy and numeracy will soar — we heard in both cases.

70% of this is what they had in mind. It provides an overall context. The talking heads are intelligent, true experts who understood the matter, as deeply as one can communicate in a short while. Their insights are illustrated by footage in a direct and shocking way. What we have is a complex set of entwined forces. As in real history, there are no good or bad guys. The narrative is aptly nuanced without remarking so. The uniqueness of the event in scale is conveyed. The dynamics of how people turn into a mob is noted. Perhaps it would have been wise to pause two thirds of the way through and deliver a warning to political entertainers of the dangers of exploiting anger.

It was African Fox News that caused this, the marketing of paranoia.

But here is the troubling thing. The producers — The History Channel — believe that their audience cannot understand concepts. We won't be able to think of things in terms of the things themselves: tribalism, fear, manipulation, pride-by-conquer. We have to translate every one of these to a human face. So we duly have three or four actual people. This is good, because witnesses matter, both living and dead. But very quickly the pandering starts: a victim girl confronts her perpetrator father; an orphan refuses to forgive the newly born- again neighbor who killed his family; a woman struggles with daily life. One talking head tells us that because of the culture, the emotions are far deeper than what we see. It is the rivers of individual grief that we are given.

No one involved seem to notice that this, this precisely. This diversion from the large weather systems of life to the offenses of and against the individual — this is what makes all those large things work. This reduction is a lie.

Thanks for the 70%. For the rest, keep your TeeVee.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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