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Shake Hands With the Devil

University of Coloradoís International Film Series

Tragically, the 1994 genocide of 800,000 people in Rwanda didn't stir the world's conscience as it should have. A decade later, though, it sent moviemakers scurrying for the their cameras and microphones. The best-known of the films was, of course, Terry George's fictionalized Oscar nominee Hotel Rwanda, starring Denver native Don Cheadle as an agonized innkeeper. But the most powerful of them has to be Peter Raymont's disturbing documentary Shake Hands With the Devil. It tells the real story of Canadian general Romeo Dallaire -- the character Nick Nolte portrayed in Hotel Rwanda -- the former commander of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Rwanda whose mission in that blood-drenched African country collapsed through indifference and mismanagement. Dallaire's return visit to Rwanda is part testimony, part therapy, and his scalding self-doubt is an uncomfortable thing to watch, start to finish. He refuses to play the part of a hero, no matter how hard the film tries to impose that on him, and that makes the experience all the more harrowing.

Shake Hands With the Devil screens Sunday, November 6, in the University of Colorado's International Film Series. Showtimes are 7 and 9:15 p.m., in Muenzinger Auditorium, just west of Folsom Stadium on CU's Boulder campus. For information, call 303- 492-1531 or visit www.internationalfilmseries.com.

 
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