Top 10 movies about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi

Horrific massacres and other horrible crimes such as rape and torture, were what characterised the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Below is a list of some of the films that clearly depict the history of this Genocide. These films help the world to understand what happened.

1. The Day God Walked Away

Like many would perceive, the title of the movie is self-explanatory. The story depicts the agony of a young woman set in Rwanda in the spring of 1994, at the outbreak of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In the movie, Jacqueline, a young Tutsi woman, is a maid in a Belgian family. When she finds her children brutally murdered, she runs away and hides in the woods where she meets a male stranger who also escaping from the slaughter. Together, they strive to survive with the fear of being discovered at any moment. Terror awaited them at every corner.

Initial release: October 28, 2009 (France)

Director: Philippe Van Leeuw

Screenplay: Philippe Van Leeuw

Music composed by: Annonciata Kamaliza

Cast: Afazali Dewaele, Miss Shanel, Lola Tuyaerts, Laetitia Reva

Production companies: Artemis Productions, Les Films du Mogho

2. Shake Hands With The Devil

‘Shake Hands with the Devil’ is based on the book by Romeo Dallaire, the former Canadian General who was in command of U.N. forces in Rwanda at the time that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi happened.

In this movie, Director Roger Spottiswoode brings a very special film realisation of the acclaimed best-seller to the screen in “Shake Hands with the Devil,” the story of a Canadian commander torn between his duty and his conscience when he finds himself an eyewitness to hell on earth.

A reporter (Deborah Unger) remains in-country and follows General Dellaire as he is forced to deal with far-away superiors and the studied indifference of the world’s great powers while trying to take decisive action to stop the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed millions of innocent lives.

Initial release: September 28, 2007 (Canada)

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Distributed by: Seville Pictures

Written by: Michael Donavan

3. Sometimes in April

This is a detailed movie about the gruesome tragedy that took place during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Directed by Raoul Peck, the movie features some of the renowned actors, Idris Elba and Carole Karemera who act as husband and wife of different ethnicity. It is their story of survival that makes this movie a deep one.

This is a film that should be watched by everyone as it entails proper details of the tragic events of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Initial release: February 17, 2005 (USA)

Director: Raoul Peck

Screenplay: Raoul Peck

Distributed by: HBO Films

4. Keepers of Memories

Information regarding the aftermath of the massacre is well documented in this movie. Survivors who were willing to share their personal experience during the tragedy gave platform to a rare film production.

Eric Kabera, the director of this movie says, “The overwhelming mood is not one of vengeance, although it is mentioned in passing by some, but it is of lingering trauma of a people who are struggling to move on while carrying the memories of their loved ones with them. There is talk of “forgiving but not forgetting”. It’s vitally important that Rwandans aren’t the only ones who remember these atrocities”

Director: Eric Kabera

Writer : Eric Kabera

Initial release: 2004

5. 100 Days

 100 Days is a film directed by Nick Hughes and produced by Hughes and Eric Kabera. The film entails events of what happened during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The title of the film is a direct reference to the length of time that passed from the beginning of the Genocide in April until it ended in July 1994.

Initial release: February 1, 2001 (USA)

Director: Nick Hughes

Screenplay: Nick Hughes

Music composed by: Steve Parr, Sharon Rose, Cecile Kayiregawa

Producers: Eric Kabera, Nick Hughes

6. Shooting Dogs

The movie is based on the experiences of BBC news producer David Belton, who worked in Rwanda during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The setting of the film is the École Technique Officielle (ETO) in Kigali. Hurt plays a Catholic priest (loosely based on Vjekoslav Ćurić) and Dancy an English teacher, both Europeans, who are caught up in the events of the genocide.

Initial release: December 9, 2005 (Istanbul)

Director: Michael Caton-Jones

Cinematography: Ivan Strasburg

Nominations: BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Producers: David Belton, Pippa Cross, Jens Meurer

7. My Neighbour My Killer

This movie focuses on the process of the Gacaca courts, a citizen-based justice system that was put into place after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. It also reflects on how people can live together after such a traumatic experience, and in the movie, we see survivors and killers learn how to coexist.

Initial release: April 27, 2009

Director: Anne Aghion

Film series: The Gacaca Series

Screenplay: Anne Aghion

Producer: Anne Aghion

8. 94’ Terror

94’terror movie talks about Keza’s story; how a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. How she lost her family and how she later managed to survive after she miraculously crossed river Akagera to Uganda.

Director: Richard Mulindwa

Writer :   Richard Mulindwa

Starring:  Joan Agaba, Phiona Muyimbwa, Rashida Nalubega,  

9. Munyurangabo

Munyurangabo is a 2007 film directed by Lee Isaac Chung. Filmed entirely in Rwanda with local actors, it is the first narrative feature film in Kinyarwanda.

After stealing a machete from a market in Kigali, Munyurangabo and his friend Sangwa leave the city to return to their village. Munyurangabo seeks justice for his parents, who were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, while Sangwa wants to return to the home he left years ago. Although the two boys had planned to stay only a few hours, they end up spending several days. But, because they are from two different tribes, their friendship is sorely tried. Sangwa’s parents distrust Munyurangabo, and warn their son that Hutus and Tutsis are supposed to be enemies.

Initial release: May 15, 2008

Director : Lee Isaac chung

Written : Lee Isaac chung

 10. Kinyarwanda

In the movie, a young Tutsi woman and a young Hutu man fall in love amidst chaos; a soldier struggles to foster a greater good while absent from her family; and a priest grapples with his faith in the face of unspeakable horror.

Initial release: December 2, 2011 (USA)

Director: Alrick Brown

Language: English Language

Cast: Cassandra Freeman, Edouard Bamporiki, Marc Gwamaka,

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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