Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire


Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire

Critics Consensus

A gut-wrenching documentary about the man in charge of the UN peace keeping force during the 1994 Rwanda genocide of 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus.



Total Count: 49


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,271
User image

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire Photos

Movie Info

The U.N. sent Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire to Rwanda in an effort to prevent tensions between the Tutsis and Hutus from escalating any further. Ill equipped and curiously sent with a small and ineffective Belgian force, thus escalating frustrations dating to Rwanda's history as a Belgian colony, Dallaire's mission was doomed to failure and genocide ensued. After ten years of immeasurable guilt and multiple suicide attempts as a result of his inability to save more than the few thousand Tutsis, Dallaire returns to Rwanda as a part of Peter Raymont's documentary about the events that both led up to and followed the slaughter. The film examines the much-questioned death of Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana as well as the order broadcast on Hutu radio to take up arms against the Tutsis. Dallaire visits the villages and homes still riddled with bullet holes and other signs of destruction, and strongly offers his feelings about how involvement from the Catholic Church or French Government could have helped prevent the tragic events that took place.


Critic Reviews for Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (20)

  • A flat-lined, pedestrian affair, a talking-heads/ touring-heads piece that seems to point the camera in the wrong direction.

    Sep 2, 2005 | Rating: 3/5
  • A personalized, historically charged travelogue that speaks to a massive tragedy's impact on one man.

    Sep 2, 2005 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • A tragic reminder of how that overused epithet, 'Never again', makes hypocrites of us all.

    Aug 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Woolley
    Top Critic
  • In a way, Shake Hands With the Devil puts the best of Western conscience on display -- and it's not a pretty sight.

    Jul 8, 2005 | Rating: B
  • We never get a satisfying re-creation of the events for which Dallaire now suffers.

    Jul 8, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Offers a rare and privileged portrait of a heroic man profoundly troubled by a terrible experience.

    Jul 1, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire

  • Sep 25, 2012
    The original documentary is something to behold. Here we see the emotions and thoughts of the man directly...a man who who has seen and experienced things that shake the soul. Powerful.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 04, 2012
    Vitally important documentary on the - STILL - vastly under-acknowledged Rwandan genocide of 1994. Whilst this isn't an exhaustive documentary on the subject and is (necessarily) televisual, it is a fascinating, moving and disturbing one showing one man's descent into hell, and how he tries to come to terms with his helplessness in the years after.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2005
    [font=Century Gothic]"Shake Hands with the Devil" is a documentary about Romeo Dallaire, who was the commander of the United Nations forces in 1994 in Rwanda as he tried unsuccessfully to prevent the genocide with an underfunded and undermanned mission. Dallaire, whose hands were tied, still acted in the behavior and manner of a professional soldier while saving lives. Afterwards, he suffered mental anguish, by wondering if there was anything more he could have done. The lesson of the movie is that a life is worth saving no matter where they live and that we all have a responsibility to stop this.(And it may be happening again in the Darfur region of Sudan...) [/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Shake Hands with the Devil" traces the origins of this genocide back to before 1960 when Rwanda was a colonial possession of Belgium and how those colonialist and racist attitudes fueled the racist hatred. Plus, it explains that this could have been stopped, not only by a better commitment to United Nations forces but also simply by the world's powers taking a stand.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Shake Hands with the Devil" is an emotionally, powerful documentary. This is absolutely necessary viewing.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=red]"Moolaade" is a movie from Africa directed by Ousmene Sembene. Six young girls escape to avoid Purification(or to be much less delicate - genital mutilation). Four wind up going to Colle because they have heard that she prohibited her daughter from undergoing the ceremony, even though this was frowned upon by the village elders and might affect her daughter adversely. Colle invokes Moolaade(protection) for the girls. Colle has her reasons for being against the ceremony of Purification. She suffered through the ceremony. Her first two babies were born dead; the third lived but it was a messy affair.[/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000][/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]"Moolaade" is an intelligent, thoughtful movie about gender roles set in an African village. The only major point against this movie is that it ended on a particularly false note.[/color][/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features