On August 6th, 2008, against the backdrop of the world's deadliest war in neighboring Eastern Congo, Rwandan President Paul Kagame issued a report detailing the French government's hidden ...
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Alexandra Nicole Hulme,
On August 6th, 2008, against the backdrop of the world's deadliest war in neighboring Eastern Congo, Rwandan President Paul Kagame issued a report detailing the French government's hidden role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Three months later, his closest aide, Rose Kabuye is arrested by France on charges of terrorism. Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre Sagahutu, a genocide survivor haunted by his father's unsolved murder, scours the Rwandan countryside on a fifteen-year-search for clues - ultimately finding himself confronted with his darkest desire: being face-to-face with his father's killer. As President Kagame fights to free Rose from France and finally expose the shocking truth about what truly happened in Rwanda fifteen years ago, Jean-Pierre journeys to the scene of the crime, and the doorstep of a killer, to uncover the chilling facts behind his father's death. As each relentlessly pursues the truth they find themselves faced with a choice: to take revenge or turn the other cheek... ... Written by
Although it has been generally highly praised, I didn't much like the film 'Hotel Rwanda', which told a fictionalised story with touches of Hollywood melodrama and failed to give me any real insight into why the horrific genocide of 1994 actually happened. 'Earth Made of Glass' is a much better film; it's a documentary, not a drama, and although it could still do more to give us a picture of Rwandan society before the genocide, it does make the evil that occurred more comprehensible. Film of people today, refusing to admit their complicity or even their witness of events, strikes a chilling and depressing note, although we also see some evidence of a society slowly clawing its way back to normality. The allegations against the French government for its role are serious and demand a defence. That no-one is asked to do so in this film is a weakness; so is the reliance of Paul Kagame, Rwanda's current president, as our guide to events. Kagame is arguably the best post-independence leader the country has had; but is still a controversial and perhaps compromised figure, and while he comes across well, the absence of opposing interpretations does leave one wondering if one is really getting the entire truth. Unfortunately, dead bodies speak for themselves, and while this is an uncomfortable film, it's one that needs to be seen.
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