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
The ribbon bars of Dallaire's medals worn by Roy Dupuis in this film are the actual ones worn by Roméo Dallaire during the time period depicted in this film. They were loaned to Dupuis by Dallaire during for the film's production. 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 »
A solid narrative of a dark episode in Rwanda history
This is lesson 2, after lesson 1 (Hotel Rwanda) on the history of a country I know very little about. But that does not matter. Rwanda in 1994 was a stage on which we witnessed the triumph of the dark side of humanity, and the failure of a world body called UN.
As a film, 'Shake Hands with the Devil' was not rated as good as 'Hotel Rwanda' by the film critics. I tend to agree with this assessment. However, it was shot on location in Rwanda with many locals participating in the film. The acting in films was reasonably well done and the overall story telling convincing.
The film moved me enough to make me ponder other scenarios: what if General Dallaire took things into his own hands and started firing his weapons, instead of just passively observing the killing and rape? And what if the UN had a change of heart and decided to get further involved instead of backing out? How many lives could have been saved, and how that would have changed the Rwanda as we know it now?
In short, this film makes me think. And for this reason alone it is well worth my time.
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