Friday, June 17, 2005


Shake Hands with the Devil

There is an article in the Washington Post about the film Shake Hands with the Devil, a documentary about Romeo Dallaire, the head of the peace-keeping mission in Rwanda during the genocide in the mid-1990s. I saw this film a couple of months ago and am glad to see that it is starting to get a bit of a wider release. It's a brutally depressing film, as one would imagine, but striking in it's blunt honesty and depth (a credit to Dallaire, really). I just watched Werner Herzog's documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly, about a pilot shot down over Laos in the Vietnam War, and am struck by the ability of humans to do harm to one another but also the unbelievable ability of humans to survive. It inspires in me a strange mixture of hope and nihilism, I suppose, and I am often led to think of those people upon whom we, as Americans, are visiting great harm and trauma, and the lasting effects its going to have, and in general how oblivious we are to the whole process. I'm planning on seeing Herzog's most recent documentary, Grizzly Man, tonight.

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