Thursday, August 3, 2006


True story

The majority of those living in Rwanda are Hutus. The Tutsis, although a minority, are very similar to the Hutus: they speak the same language, inhabit the same areas and follow the same traditions. But the Belgian colonists who arrived in 1916, saw the two groups as distinct entities, and even produced identity cards classifying people according to their ethnicity. The Belgians considered the Tutsis as superior to the Hutus. Not surprisingly, the Tutsis welcomed this idea, and for the next 20 years they enjoyed better jobs and educational opportunities than their neighbours. When Belgium relinquished power and granted Rwanda independence in 1962, the Hutus took their place.
The Tutsi formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) with the aim of overthrowing president Juvenal Habyarimana. When Habyarimana's plane was shot down at the beginning of April 1994, the presidential guard immediately initiated a campaign of retribution. Leaders of the political opposition were murdered, and almost immediately, the slaughter of Tutsis began.
The Rwandans were largely left alone, apart from a small contingent of UN troops, mainly because of the deep-seated racism that prevented the international community from doing something before it was far too late.

Hugh Dancy: Joe Connor, a recently graduated British schoolteacher
Claire-Hope Ashitey: Marie, star athlete and a Tutsi student
Dominique Horwitz: Captain Delon, a UN officer from Belgium John Hurt: Father Christopher, head of the Ecole Technique Officielle in Kigali
David Gyasi: Francois, the school's Hutu custodian

With excellent performances and shot on location, it is almost like being there. A well-developed story that is confusing at times having to sort out who the people are,Tutsi or Hutu. It is filmed with remarkable restraint so we can only imagine what takes place without being shown all the gory details.

for strong violence, disturbing images and language.

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