This little piece is not meant to be construed as a review. Yet I urge everyone to go see Shake Hands with the Devil. Based on Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire's bestselling novel of the same title, it depicts the events that led to the genocide in Rwanda. And since the producers kept Dallaire as a consultant, you truly get the feeling that you are seeing a genuine dramatization of the atrocities which occurred in that small African country.
I was afraid that the producers would try to sugarcoat it, which would have ruined the movie for me. Fortunately, they go ahead and point a finger toward those who deserve the blame, as well as the shame that is associated with it. Unless you like to bury your head in the sand and pretend that everything is peaches and cream, it showcases the travesty that the United Nations can be. It demonstrates just how inadequate and what a disgraceful mockery the Security Council can be. It shows (but they let him off the hook too easily for my taste) how Kofi Annan refused to act and attach any sort of importance to the massacres that were taking place. That merry bunch of idiots failed to qualify these horrible acts as a "genocide," for they would have then been forced by international law to intervene.
So they stalled for time, while over 800,000 Tutsi were exterminated by the Hutu, all in about 100 days. And I was extremely glad when I discovered that the producers didn't pull any punches and laid the blame of that blatant inaction on those who are worthy of infamy for allowing a genocide to occur during their watch: The international community in its entirety is to blame, of course, but France and the USA could have put a stop to the atrocities before it became wholesale slaughter. And Belgium deserves its share of the blame for withdrawing its Peacekeepers in the middle of the conflict.
Needless to say, Shake Hands with the Devil is a powerful film. Shot on location in Rwanda for the most part, it certainly makes you stop and think about just how incompetent and incapable the UN is when it's dealing with that sort of crisis. . . This is no big budget, feel good flick, so I figure it won't remain in theaters for long.
Do yourself a favor and go see it.:-) The truth of what took place in Rwanda is ugly, but I believe it should be seen and understood. . .