Shake Hands with the Devil (2010)
Director Roger Spottiswoode brings a very special film realization of the acclaimed best-seller by General Roméo Dallaire to the screen in "Shake Hands with the Devil," the story of a Canadian commander torn between his duty and his conscience when he finds himself eyewitness to hell on Earth. In 1993, the United Nations dispatches Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (Roy Dupuis) to far off Rwanda to oversee a fragile cease-fire. A brilliant, workaholic officer and charismatic commander, Dallaire encounters the shabby reality of a typical UN peacekeeping operation: under-funded, overbureaucratic, and cobbled together from military units from dozens of countries, each with a slightly different agenda. Meanwhile, the peace agreement between the rebels, led by the minority Tutsi ethnic group, and the French-supported government dominated by the Hutu majority group, turns out to rest on shaky ground. When an unknown group shoots down the Rwandan President's plane, the storm breaks and a secret but long-planned genocidal campaign against the Tutsi minority begins with a night of terror in Kigali. A reporter (Deborah Unger) remains in-country and follows General Dellaire as he is forced to deal with far-away superiors and the studied indifference of the world's great powers while trying to take decisive action to stop the genocide of over 800,000 innocent civilians. --© Regent Releasing … More
Related News & Features
Critics Consensus: Guess Saw 3D's Tomatometer!
– Rotten Tomatoes
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Shake Hands with the Devil
The best that can be said of the film is that it is an honorable dud.
Dallaire's stalwart stoicism offsets the horrors on display, which are filmed with expectedly solemn slickness.
Though the film, based on Dallaire's memoir, can veer toward deification of the general, it's hugely effective in illustrating the grotesque power plays that led to the deaths of more than 800,000 Tutsis.
[Director] Spottiswoode's lackluster film fails to offer any fresh perspective on these now well-known events.
Despite being filmed in many of those actual Rwandan locations, Shake Hands with the Devil is frustratingly distancing.
What ultimately characterizes Shake Hands with the Devil is its cumbersome sense of contrition, but the film seems only foggily aware of what its apologizing for.
Then as now, the world recoils as the various documentations of those horrors become available for all who wish to see.
Beautifully filmed, brutally frank, and forceful in its political message - in support of active peacekeeping - this is a powerful film that's not to be missed.
Audience Reviews for Shake Hands with the Devil
Another viewpoint of the horrific events of the Rwandan genocide. Slow moving, but really well done. Roy Dupuis is excellent as the Canadian General leading the mission, and not getting the resources that he needs to do the job. For anyone who has seen Hotel Rwanda, or read about the genocide and wants to know more, this fills in some of the gaps from the international side. I recommend watching this in connection with Sometimes in April, which tells the story from the government side with a Hutu army officer being the protagonist. All good films....all very disturbing, but real.More
The name itself is so attractive!!! I've a weak spot for "The Devil's Backbone", "The Devil Wears Prada", "The Devil's Advocate", etc. movies that have the word 'devil' in their title. Even though I may end up being disappointed by the movie, they're a 'must watch if available' for me and I just can't ignore them for long. Isn't it ironical that one of the world's most peaceful and innocent person likes movies that include such a word in it???!!!
A good but not-so-great movie about the unfortunate Rwandan Genocide. The movie shows how a General is nothing but a puppet whose strings are moved as per his Major's wishes. It displays the helplessness of a man to help others only because he hasn't received the necessary 'orders'. Though their army is equipped, its hands are tied by the "Shoot only when you're shot at" type of orders that leave them almost defenseless. Hats off (okay, just noticed that I'm not wearing even a single hat right now, so postponing the 'hats off' act until unmentioned time) to those who can keep their cool even under such stressful conditions. I wish I could borrow a bit of it.
Discuss Shake Hands with the Devil on our Movie forum!