Rwanda Rising: 4 films about genocide you can’t miss

The Rwandan genocide is one of the worst atrocities of the 1990s, and of the whole XX century.

It was a mass slaughter of Tutsi people by the Hutu majority, and it is estimated that 800, 000 thousand people were killed from April to July in 1994. This genocide still stands in the memory of Rwandan people as a major national trauma, and the country is still recuperating from the severe blow.

Several films have been made about this terrible tragedy; here is a list of the essential four films you should see to better understand the subject and empathize with the victims.

1. Hotel Rwanda

Based on the events that took place in mid-1994, this film tells the story of a man trying to save his own family and thousands of people who became refugees. He offers them shelter in a hotel that is besieged, and many film critics compared it with the famous Shindler’s List, since they both explore similar subjects.

2. Shake Hands with the Devil

This film is based the autobiographical book by Romeo Dellaire, a Canadian retired general, and his direct experiences in the Rwandan genocide. It depicts the story of his personal journey, the genocide, and how the UN refused to reply to his strong pleas for aid that could prevent the worst from happening.

3. Kinyarwanda

This is a collaborative effort between the United States and Rwanda, and it is characterized as a war drama amid the atrocities of the genocide. It is also a heart-wrenching love story, as it tells us about love between a Tutsi woman and a Hutu man. Furthermore, there is a story about a priest struggling with his faith during the horror, which only adds to the overall experience in the face of death and destruction.

4. Shooting Dogs

This film is also known under the title Beyond the Gates in the United States. The basis for it actually came about through direct experiences of David Belton, BBC news reporter who was working in Rwanda at the time of the genocide. An interesting fact about the film is that is was shot on the exact same locations where the original TV footage was created.