goldmourn (amberdawnpullin) wrote,

Shake Hands With The Devil - CBC special

At nine o'clock, I will be watching a CBC program entitled: 'The Passionate Eye: Shake Hands With The Devil' - I just finished reading the book! What timing! The book is still fresh in my mind. I didn't know there would be a special on tv about it until this evening! I watched Rick Mercer's Monday Report at eight o'clock (I love that show). Margaret Atwood was on the ice giving a hockey tip about stopping the puck and being a goalie. The commercial leading up to this program had her dressed up in goalie gear, stating her in definitive monotone voice, "Tragically, this could be the future of hockey." Another funny moment in the show was during the 'Front Page' segment, in which Rick Mercer shows a newspaper photo and makes up his own caption or comment for it. I wrote this one down. It was a photo of George Bush during his presidential speech and Rick Mercer speaks slowly, "Freedom is a choo-choo and I'm pulling on the toot toot thing." Good times, good times.

The following is the description of the program from website for The Passionate Eye: Shake Hands With The Devil.

Monday January 31 at 9pm on CBC-TV
repeating Wednesday February 2 at 10pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld

Canadian Lt.-General (ret.) Roméo Dallaire may never fully come to terms with the horrific events that unfolded while he commanded the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, but the emotionally scarred Dallaire is trying. Over 100 nightmarish days in 1994, more than 800,000 men, women and children were brutally murdered, despite the valiant efforts of Dallaire and his small number of peacekeepers.

Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire follows the former UN General during his first return trip to Rwanda 10 years after the genocide, a searing emotional journey in which he confronts the memories that persistently haunt him.

In 1993, Dallaire was thrown into a country with only minimal briefing, leading a force that included ill equipped, poorly trained soldiers, some of whom did not want to be there. Unsupported by UN headquarters, Dallaire and his remaining handful of soldiers were incapable of stopping the killing. He condemns top UN officials, Belgian policy-makers, and senior members of the Clinton administration who chose to do nothing as he pleaded each day for reinforcements and revised rules of engagement. The experience led to Dallaire’s own life tragedy, more than once attempting suicide, as he dealt with the psychological fallout of witnessing a genocide he believes could have been stopped.

Dallaire shares his remarkable emotional pilgrimage back to Rwanda, not only with the documentary crew, but also with his wife, who for the first time experiences the country that changed her husband so dramatically. The documentary is based in part on the best-selling book Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda by Lt.-General Roméo Dallaire, which recently won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. It was principally filmed in early April 2004, during the 10th anniversary of the genocide.

Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire is produced and directed by Gemini Award-winning filmmaker Peter Raymont of White Pine Pictures in association with CBC/Radio-Canada.
~ ~ ~
updated the next day...
It's 12:35pm on the 1st of February, 2005. I watched the program and wrote down a few quotes. It was Dallaire's first time back to Rwanda in ten years. He said, "to me, it seemed like going back into hell" and that he remembered "dogs eating the bodies" and recalled "witnessing the mass slaughter of human beings." He stated, "This is where I significantly changed." He was with his wife as they travelled the area, going back to the places of his worst nightmares - "I'm seeing the differences but I can't get the past pictures out." When he had first landed in Rwanda for his (failed) UN Mission, he thought of Rwanda as a paradise on earth. It truly was beautiful and appears to be beautiful again, although there is much tension still and a feeling that nothing has truly changed and the people still feel abandoned and ignored by the rest of the world, as they had been during the genocide. It was strange (and sickening) to see the leaders currently in power who had sabotaged the Arusha Peace accords at the time of the genocide, especially after having read about the power games played out in Dallaire's book. There was a quote from Dallaire in an interview in 1998, after he had made the news for being found drunk under a bench, (he hadn't yet seeked help for his post-traumautic syndrome and depression) and I wrote this quote down, "I couldn't stand the loudness of silence." By the end of the program, I believe I heard Dallaire say that he would like to move to Rwanda, to stay there and live there, perhaps in a year or so. He came to terms with the fact that a part of him is forever in Rwanda. At one time it was a terrible pain, but now he has reconciled it to himself. I wrote one last quote, where he was speaking with his wife, as they both overlooked a forest green landscape, "Here... I want to show you where in all of this I could find myself..." Beautiful.
Tags: rwanda

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