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Shake Hands with the Devil (2007)

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The story of General Romeo Dallaire's frustrated efforts to stop the madness of the Rwandan Genocide, despite the complete indifference of his superiors.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Owen Sejake ...
Ghanian General Henry Anyidoho (as Owen Lebakeng Sejake)
Major Brent Beardsley
Michel Mongeau ...
Luc Marchal
Robert Lalonde ...
Général Maurice Baril
John Sibi-Okumu ...
Akin Omotoso ...
Paul Kagame
Tom McCamus ...
Phil Lancaster
John Matshikiza ...
President Habyarimana
Bernard Kouchner
Strini Pillai ...
Bangladeshi Commander
Craig Hourqueble ...
Kenneth Khambula ...
Major Kamenzi
Patrice Faye ...
Colonel Poncet
Chris Thorne ...
American Ambassador


In the end of 1993, the Canadian General Romeo Dallaire is assigned to lead the United Nation troops in Rwanda. In 1994, when the genocide of the Tutsis by the Hutus begins, General Dallaire gives his best effort to help the people in Rwanda, inclusive negotiating with the Tutsi rebels, the Hutu army and the Interhamwe militia. However, he fights against bureaucracy and lack of interest from the United Nations and witnesses the West World ignoring and turning back any sort of support, inclusive USA opposing in the security council of UN to any type of help. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When The World Turned Its Back, One Man Stood Up. See more »


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing violent images and brief strong language | See all certifications »





Release Date:

28 September 2007 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Aperte as Mãos do Diabo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 11,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filming actually took place on location in Kigali which is considered to be the catalyst of the Genocide. A plane carrying Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, and Cyprien Ntaryamira, the Hutu president of Burundi, was shot down as it prepared to land in Kigali. The Gikondo massacre, which also took place in Kigali. See more »


At the international news report on the massacres, the modern Rwandan flag is depicted on the screen, which wasn't introduced until 2001, whereas the news report was from 1994, during the massacre. See more »


Paul Kagame: They keep changing the rules. They don't want to share power with us. Can't you see they're stalling? We decide to resume hostilities, I'll give you twenty four hours' notice.
General Romeo Dallaire: Is that a warning?
Paul Kagame: No. A promise. But I am warning you. Something terrible is coming. And once it starts, nobody will be able to stop it. I'm afraid many people will die.
See more »


Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.30 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

How far we have to go...
15 October 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I cannot in all honesty discuss this movie with any kind of reasonable and objective framework or point of reference. Though in all earnest I have found myself actively trying to avoid films such as "Shake Hands With The Devil", I cannot help it but be drawn by them even as in the end I pay a price for watching them. "Schindler's List", "Ararat", "The Killing Fields", "Sophie's Choice", "The Pianist" and "Hotel Rwanda" are examples of such movies, movies portraying the cruelty and inhumanity of man towards man. Every time I see such movies I feel drained, ashamed, impotent, angry, complicit, astonished and guilty at my own ignorance, selfishness and apathy. For make no mistake, in some ways we are all guilty, we all share in the blame for all these monstrous calamities that have occurred throughout history, genocide, mass killings, destructions of bodies, minds and souls, at which we stood present aiding their architects and allowing diabolical plans put in motion to proceed unhindered. Mankind's deafening silence and the extinguished voices of all those that perished are our most potent accusers.

Still with all these painful lessons, WE CONTINUE TO DO NOTHING... Years ago in what seems now another lifetime, I too was a refugee, lost to the world, one of those faceless, abandoned and shunned multitudes, millions upon millions of the world's orphans, for that is what refugees are... Yet what I experienced in all my trials and tribulations is but an ounce of what the people of Rwanda experienced back in 1994. Furthermore in my case I was fortunate, no beyond fortunate, I was lucky, truly so, that my outcome was a good one, and was able to find another home and build a new life

When I finished watching "Shake Hands With The Devil", all the painful memories of old came back, flooding my mind. Even so, it is my belief that movies such as these need to be made and these kinds of stories, no matter how painful and depressing, have to be continually told, and in that, a movie such as this is invaluable. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to at least learn something, get a glimpse of people, events and places they most likely will never encounter in their lifetime, tragic though they may all be.

I am very familiar with the story of General Romeo Dallaire, and I have the utmost respect and admiration for this brave, brutally honest and sincere man. Every time I have heard his interviews and speeches he has been jarring in his self-assessment and in the acknowledgment of his own failure, which knowing what we now know about the indifference and willful ignorance of the international community and the United Nations, I highly doubt.

Some have accused Dallaire of grandstanding, yet I see none of that, I see a guilt ridden man that has led a long and difficult struggle to find himself,to rediscover his purpose in life, a long journey from the darkness to the light. This is a man haunted by many demons and dark shadows,that he somehow must now accept and incorporate within his own soul and character. His life's mission is now very clear, to be the voice for all those that died in Rwanda, to bear witness to their tragedy and plight, to keep their memory and story alive, and be our own demon by never letting us forget what we could have and should have done. At the very least and if nothing else, Romeo Dallaire was there and tried his best, and for that nobody can fault him.

All the people involved in this project are to be commended for the job that they did in bringing this tragic episode to life once more. Roy Dupuis should be noted especially for his role, presence and his work in such a difficult movie.

So, go out, see this movie and reflect on what this dark chapter in human history means to you and perhaps look for something within yourself that you could change for the better, and if you can do that, then all of this would have been worth something and perhaps the future is not yet lost to us.

39 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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