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Frontline: Ghosts of Rwanda

43 customer reviews

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(May 10, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

FRONTLINE marks the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide with a documentary chronicling one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. In addition to interviews with key government officials and diplomats, the two-hour documentary offers eyewitness accounts of the genocide from those who experienced it firsthand. FRONTLINE illustrates the failures that enabled the slaughter of 800,000 people to occur unchallenged by the global community.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007TKI06
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,563 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 125 people found the following review helpful By M. Nielsen on June 16, 2005
Format: DVD
This program is well done and very informative. It is definitely worth watching for anyone interested in the disaster in Rwanda. The interviews alone make the program worthwhile.

My only complaint about this program is that it is unmistakably USA-centric. A significant focus of the program is the shameful role of the U.S. in opposing every meaningful proposal for timely intervention or support of the meager peace keeping force on the ground in Rwanda. Though all the attention given to this aspect of the Rwandan disaster is worthwhile, there was no discussion of the responsibility of other Security Council members, especially France. The role of France is particularly deserving of analysis because of its close relationship with the regime, its role as a military adviser to the regime, and the use of its troops in Operation Turquoise to shelter the regime's retreat to refugee camps outside Rwanda once the genocide had been completed. Yet the program hardly mentions France at all, still unapologetic over its role in Rwanda. Similarly, the program skips over entirely the difficult questions surrounding the troubling lack of moral leadership of the Catholic and Anglican Churches in what had nominally been the most Christian country in Africa. The feckless response of the UN leaders in New York is not examined very closely, notwithstanding a few regretful, self-serving bromides from Kofi Anan, who was in charge of peace keeping missions at the time. There is not a single mention of UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who helped suppress any effective UN response. If time did not permit examination of all these issues, then the coverage of the American response should have been reduced to allow more focus on Kigali, New York, and Paris.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne E. Legault on May 12, 2005
Format: DVD
While this documentary by Frontline covers a very important issue, and is done very well, I must warn you, it is absolutely heartbreaking to watch. It is 48 hours later following my viewing, and I am still sobbing. We said "Never Again" after the Holocaust, and yet, the world stood by while this most atrocious of genocides took place. I think it is important for everyone to educate themselves about this evil point in the world's history, and on that basis, I would highly recommend this DVD. However, be careful,this video is not for the fainthearted or sensitive viewer. Meanwhile, another genocide is taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan, and again, the United States and the UN are turning a blind eye. Tragic.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Karen P. Hastings on June 9, 2005
Format: DVD
I saw this film when Frontline aired it last year. Like another reviewer, I wept- for the Rwandan victims, for those who tried to help, and for General Dallaire, whose pleas to the world community were ignored. I also saw women and men - embassay staff, UN peacekeepers, missionaries, local citizens - who put their lives on the line, negotiating, pleading, witnessing, and who accomplished much. These men and women were such incredible examples of courage and principle that I wish every school would use this film to show young people, to say: "This is what a hero looks like; this is what a real hero does," and "This is what happens when we become more interested in gossip and clothes than in what is happening to other humans in our world." We in the US really did not see the extent of the horror. Film crews from other countries stayed and filmed what was really happening. It is a stunning piece of work. I increased my pledge to Public Television for their airing of this film and have it in my own library for my grandchildren. With this film and General Dallaire's book and film, perhaps we will not let the Sudan slip from our eyes and hearts the way we did with Rwanda. If you want to see what really happened, not with actors, but with the real people, real time, see this remarkable film.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By FGBartlett on June 16, 2006
Format: DVD
Dallaire was a tragic hero, totally deserted, who blames himself for being deserted. Mbaye Diagne was a hero, a martyr for peace, and a Muslim not often mentioned these days. Too few people know these heros' names, or what they did, in spite of being hung out to dry by the UN.

But, the world gave Kofi a Nobel Prize for Peace, and that is the very definition of injustice. The UN/World Community/US acted shamefully.

View it along with reading Dallaire's book "Shake Hands with the Devil", as well as David Rieff's book, "A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis."

These men saved what lives they could, in spite of the rest of the world, including all of us not there, telling them not to do it, or at least, tolerating leaders who were telling them not to do it.

What is happening in Darfur today is linked to what happened in Rwanda, as well as Somalia before that. The necessity of AU Peacekeeping forces should be a slap in the face of the world community/UN. It's an acknowledgement of the failure of UN Peacekpeeing. It is Africa showing us that the UN is a joke, that Africa knows it is on its own. Look at how easily the local warlords have kept any hint of a UN 'Peacekeeping' mission out of Darfur: simply by threatening 'Jihad', by the UN's own idiotic mandate, it is precluded from entering the conflict. Of what possible use is a force that is restricted, by its own mandate, to defend only itself? Logic cries out that is best done in the parking lot at East 44th street, it is not necessary to deploy half way around the world to rudely defend only yourself in front of innocents desperately in need of defense!

The UN is the world's official fig leaf excuse for endlessly doing everything possible short of actually doing anything.
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