Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wanna Be Depressed?

Then rent Beyond the Gates. The original title it was released under was "Shooting Dogs". It's not a new film, but we only just picked it up. It tells the story of a technical college in Rwanda that turned into a refugee camp before the 1994 Rwanda massacre of the Tutsis by the Hutus. The movie was grim, distressing, and brutal. But I also felt it was manipulative, in a way. I am not trying to suggest that the Tutsis deserved what they got. The massacre was brutally savage, and that is made abundantly clear in this film. Where it falls apart is that it suggests that the Tutsis have always been victims of the Hutus and this is just a bubbling over of a long standing repression. The history is much more complex than that, but the focus of the movie seemed to be "Hutus are, and always have been, evil savages." I am incredibly sympathetic to the Tutsi plight, but I would have been even more so with more of a nod to history and an understanding of the motivations of the other side.