The new film stars acclaimed Quebec actor Roy Dupuis
and was shot in and around Kigali
with the participation of Rwandan actors.
RWANDA SHAKE HANDS SOON
"The Rwandans were incredibly hospitable.
They made available all the props we needed to stage a war --
tanks, machine guns, armed personnel carriers.
They let us work, and never asked us to see the script."
To Orwell Today,
President Kagame is to get a private screening of the movie SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL and has been invited to the Toronto International Film Festival to attend the world premiere of the film on September 9th, 2007:
It's a 'courtesy call', film's producer says (heart will be in throat when he screens for president of Rwanda). GlobeMail, Aug 5, 2007
All the best,
That's exciting news that the movie SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL is now complete and the producer is making a special trip to Rwanda to show it to President Kagame. I really hope it's a good one and that President Kagame will like it. Maybe then he'll come to the Toronto Film Festival and you'll see him again as you did at the New York Film Festival. See RWANDA RAVE REVIEWS
I've been really looking forward to seeing the finished SHAKE HANDS movie especially since I was in Rwanda last summer when they were filming it. Some of the people working on it were staying at our hotel! Then this past summer, when I was in Rwanda again, another movie was being filmed on location there. See HILLYWOOD RWANDA.
Shortly after getting back to Canada last summer there was a big write-up in the Globe & Mail newspaper about the making of SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL. What amazed me is how much the actor who plays Dallaire LOOKS like Dallaire, who is seen on the cover of his book by the same name.
Actually, today is August 5th, 2007 and it was exactly a year ago - August 5th, 2006 - that that article about the making of SHAKE HANDS appeared. I clipped it out and put it in my Rwanda file. It's scanned below and people can read by clicking to enlarge (as is the bookcover of Romeo Dallaire, for comparison to the actor who plays him, Roy Dupuis):
I'll be following Rwanda news this week looking for a write-up on how Thursday's screening for President Kagame goes. Hopefully the New Times newspaper will be back on-line by then.
All the best,
Dallaire at new Shake Hands movie (UN soldiers played bluff with howling mobs of knife-wielding Hutu hooligans bent on butchering every last Tutsi in Rwanda). CanadaCom Sep 10, 2007
RWANDA'S SILENT FRIENDS
President of Rwanda to get private screening of film:
SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL
Globe & Mail, Aug 4, 2007
A producer of the soon-to-be-released film Shake Hands with the Devil admits his heart will be in his throat when he privately screens the drama about the Rwandan genocide for the country's president Paul Kagame in Rwanda on Thursday. The film is based on the story of Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire and shouldn't be confused with the 2004 documentary of the same name, which also tells Dallaire's story as a Canadian commander struggling with the horrifically ineffectual United Nations' peacekeeping mission and its efforts to stem the killing.
The new film stars acclaimed Quebec actor Roy Dupuis and was shot in and around Kigali with the participation of Rwandan actors. During shooting a year ago, the filmmakers had met with the president, discussing his role in leading Rwandan Patriotic Front forces, which brought an end to the slaughter of up to one million ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus by Hutu extremist groups.
Kagame has been invited to the Toronto International Film Festival to attend the world premiere of the film on Sept. 9, but the president hasn't confirmed whether he will be able to attend. But next week, the filmmakers are taking their film to Rwanda as "a courtesy call to President Kagame. They didn't request it, we offered it. He was one of the major players," said the film's co-producer Laszlo Barna yesterday. "We are not going there for approvals. Notwithstanding that, my heart is in my throat."
"When we were filming, we had two psychologists on set at all times," Barna said. "People were breaking down in the middle of scenes. We used a lot of Rwandan actors and Rwandan extras. And it was not unusual that people broke up because we were re-enacting portions of the genocide."
"The Rwandans were incredibly hospitable," he added. "They made available all the props we needed to stage a war -- tanks, machine guns, armed personnel carriers. They let us work, and never asked us to see the script."
Dallaire remains a respected figure in Rwanda, Barna noted. "He is one of the people who saved over 30,000 people. He didn't leave when the UN ordered him out. So there's a tremendous enthusiasm, and they are hopeful this will tell the story of the abandonment of Rwanda by the UN and the international community."
However, this isn't the first film to dramatize the Rwandan genocide by shooting on location in Rwanda and using Rwandan actors. For instance, the 2005 British - German film Shooting Dogs, which also played the Toronto festival to positive reviews, similarly told the story of UN forces leaving Tutsis to die, although it centred more on the story of a Catholic priest played by actor John Hurt.
Barna, who is based in Toronto, emphasized that the script for Shake Hands With the Devil wasn't vetted by Rwandan officials and that Kagame won't have any say in the final edit or be granted any changes to the film after he sees it next week. "No one has control over this film except for my co-producer Michael Donovan and Laszlo Barna," Barna said. The film will be distributed by Seville Pictures in Canada and is scheduled to be released in late September.
HOTEL RWANDA HERO HOAX
RWANDA'S GOOD MAN KAGAME and HOW KAGAME BECAME LEADER
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~