Posted: October 23rd, 2013
Sometimes in April
Sometimes in April is a historical drama directed by the Haitian filmmaker, Raoul Peck in 2005 that illustrated the Rwandan Genocide that happened in 1994. In the film, two brothers, Butera and Muganza witness the murder of approximately 800,000 civilians in one week and end clashing with each other over politics and murder of their own family members. Some of the major themes in the film include brutal violence, human rights violations, poverty and political injustices. The inclusion of Don Cheadle as one of the stars in the film gave it a high rating within Africa and America (Peck et al 14).
The film had several strengths. One, the film was carefully directed as it portrayed the proceedings in Rwanda very accurately and in detail. During the 1994 Rwanda genocide, numerous key events occurred for instance racial profiling, the assassination of key tribal leaders and the oppression of civilians. All these events were graphically captured by the actors and director to an extent that the film could be used in history classes as a teaching aid to instruct students on the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The director made good use of modern technology and chose the actors carefully and this culminated in a first class movie. The movie was also chronologically accurate in that the director ascertained the dates and events were correct. Another major strength of the film is that it was very informative. As one watches the movie, it constantly provides information on the Rwandan government system, the methods of seeking justice and their flaws. Conversely, the film had several weaknesses. One, it was too graphic and horrifying to an extent that it was rated TV-MA. Therefore, while it was very informative and realistic, it was not possible to be used in a class of younger children (0-18) as it was unsuitable for them. The film was also confused towards the end as Augustin’s wife disappeared from the movie in a surprising manner.
The movie definitely leaves the observer with a need to understand the situation in Rwanda better. It offers supplementary benefits as a resource for political science and African history education. This is because it shortly analyzes Rwanda’s history from when it was colonized, and tackles the contentious issues of reluctance on the part of the United Nations and other global players during the genocide of 1994 (Peck et al 34). The movie’s additional elements add to its educational worth. The detailed comments from the director allow the viewer to understand his motivation in running the project. There is also a feature contributed by the cast that allows the viewer to pay attention to the actors and their inspiration for taking roles in the film.
The film provided me with new insights into domestic and global politics. At the domestic level, the movie revealed the importance of unity among citizens. This type of unity overlooked racial or tribal lines and united the people. If there were unity, there would have been no conflict and bloodshed in Rwanda between the Hutu and Tutsi. The movie also shed more light on the state of global politics and stressed the importance of state interests over other interests. When Rwanda was in shambles and chaos, the United States stood and watched the massacre without intervening and stopping the war. Their main reason for turning a blind eye was that they had no economic or social interests and investments in Rwanda to compel them to intervene and save the situation.
The movie served as a reminder to the individuals, states and other global organizations that they were responsible for the safety and peace of each other despite their state interests. The Rwanda Genocide was particularly important in shaping the devices that would ensure regional peace in the greater East African region.
Peck, Raoul, Daniel Delume, Oris Erhuero, Eriq Ebouaney, Idris Elba, and Debra Winger. Sometimes in April. United States: Home Box Office, 2005. Print.
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