Hollywood Movies: Don't show Rwandan genocide

KIGALI (Reuters) - Three films in two years about Rwanda's genocide have shocked Western audiences with the scale and savagery of the slaughter, but many survivors in the tiny central African nation are unimpressed.


The Forex market is the largest market in the world.


They say the big-screen depictions of the carnage, when about 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were butchered in 100 days of state-sponsored killings, have got the story wrong.

"My conclusion was that both movies are another Hollywood fiction geared at making money," said Jean Pierre Rucogoza, a 47-year-old university lecturer and genocide survivor who has watched "Sometimes in April" and "Hotel Rwanda."

Rucogoza lost 11 relatives in the killings. In an interview on the eve of the 12th anniversary of the genocide earlier this month, he said he believed the films partly represented the West's conscience rearing its head too late.

"But, unfortunately, they are also being used as a money-minting tool," he told Reuters. Many who lived through Rwanda's bloodshed say they are happy the films remind the world of the tragedy, but say the reality was different.


"'Sometimes in April' is characterized by very serious inaccuracies and omissions which made most survivors say 'it is not our story'," said Francois Ngarambe, president of a Rwandan genocide survivors' association.

Directed by Raoul Peck, "Sometimes in April" tells of the plight of a Hutu soldier who is separated from his Tutsi wife and two children as violence engulfs the capital Kigali in April 1994.

Ten years later, he learns of their deaths from his brother, who was a presenter on a hate radio station urging the killers on, and is now facing an international trial.

Ngarambe said the film wrongly portrayed the genocide as largely the work of militia, neglecting the careful planning by the Hutu extremists in the government and the military.

The latest screen take on the genocide, and the only to be filmed on location, Michael Caton-Jones's "Shooting Dogs," had its world premiere at a stadium in Kigali last month.

It was filmed at the Ecole Technique Officielle, a school in the capital where Belgian U.N. troops abandoned more than 2,000 Tutsis to be slaughtered by machete-wielding killers.

It has also been criticized by some survivors, particularly for one scene where a white Roman Catholic priest decides to stay with the refugees, rather than be evacuated along with his expatriate colleagues.

Many senior church leaders were complicit in some of Rwanda's killings and the depiction angered many who already blame the United Nations and Western powers for failing to intervene.


"There was never a situation, not at that school or anywhere, where a white person refused to be evacuated. That is a pure lie," said Wilson Gabo, a coordinator of Rwanda's Survivors Fund charity.

The makers concede a degree of artistic license with the facts of what actually happened at the school, risking inflaming tempers in a society where memories are still raw.

Amid international inaction, the genocide was finally ended by Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, who led a rebel army from Uganda to seize power. He has recently joined the film debate, sharply criticizing the Oscar-nominated "Hotel Rwanda."

Released last year, Terry George's movie stars Don Cheadle as Paul Rusesabagina, the Hutu manager of a Kigali hotel where more than 1,200 people survived the killings taking place outside.

Kagame, a Tutsi, said the South African-filmed portrayal of Rusesabagina was a "falsehood," and he would not have picked him as a symbol of heroism in those tragic times.

"Some of the things actually attributed to this person are not true," Kagame told reporters last week. "Even those that are true do not merit the level of highlight."

Free Thinker
This is true of ALL Hollywood movies. :shrug:
Well you think they would have some respect for an incident that occured just recently.
Jersay have you read "Shake Hands With the Devil" by Romeo Dallard. If not-read it, it is the only book that I have ever read that made me so angry that I would have to put the book down and stomp all over the house before I could pick it back up again. There are parts that made me cry, it is a great book to read and it should be on the Must read list for our Military.
you should watch "Hotel Rwanda", increadibly powerful, could have been a bit more gory for my liking, and to show a sense of the brutality that actually went on.

But I think it made a good point in the following quote:

"They wont help you because your balck, your worse than a n*gger, your an african, they DONT CARE ABOUT YOU"

supposedly spoken by a canadian as well
I have watched the book and the movie and I liked them both, but to Rwandans they don't like the movies.
that doesnt suprise me jersay, it's not nice to think your own people can commit such acts, why do you think the germans are "on the face of it" the most vehrment anti-nazi country?
I don't think they are against the movies in that kind of way, they are against i believe actions that white people did things, in the movie, when they did zippo at all.
Quote: Originally Posted by Jersay

I don't think they are against the movies in that kind of way, they are against i believe actions that white people did things, in the movie, when they did zippo at all.

It is quite possible that while the "white people" ( UN troops also included Ghanains and Bangladeshis) did things, the Rwandans DID zippo at all. IT wouldn't be the first time people have stood by and let their country/community go to hell while other clean it up.
ah I see, Jersay is using what we call in jolly old england the "U579" reasoning, false victorism........I cant see how that would work though, because no-one lifted a finger to help these people, for that we should all be ashamed
I wonder who the relatives are who apparently avidly agreed to make a movie of the downed Pennsylvaniia 9/11 flight. This movie is now coming out, and I would be insulted and extremely upset if it were my loved ones who had been lost on the flight. Hollywood however claims that all the relatives thoroughly agreed to the making of the movie.
it'll be no worse than "in the name of the father" or "the patriot", which should be renamed "the traitor/turncoat"...I'm just glad the warrington, Canary Warf or downing street bombings arent "high profile" enough to warrant a hollywood movie about them, cus the last thing I need is some other idiot doing a "dick van dyke" about people I know
Free Thinker
What was so inaccurate about "in the name of the father"

I found that movie a bit distrubing for some reason.

I know, off topic, but that movie has haunted me to this day for some reason.
well a few things, the only problem I have with irish nationalistic flicks like that is basically this:

"what are they trying to achive?, is it ethnic cleansing?, cus thats the only way they'll ever remove the majority i.e. protestant loyalists from northern ireland"

basically it's not a clean cut "lets unite all of ireland jobby"
Hey I am just saying what they are saying in the article it is right there. I liked the movie.
I think not
Has anybody realized yet a movies' intent is to entertain and sell? We aren't talking about a documentary people.

And I liked Hotel Rwanda and In the Name of the Father and The Traitor/Turncoat/Patriot whatever.
But when it is on an event I think to some people, maybe its not a documentary but maybe a higher ethics should be held? I guess.