The film traces the journey of Stephanie Nyombayire, a young Rwandan anti-genocide activist who teams up with Sir Martin Gilbert, the renowned Holocaust historian, to travel across 15 ...
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The film traces the journey of Stephanie Nyombayire, a young Rwandan anti-genocide activist who teams up with Sir Martin Gilbert, the renowned Holocaust historian, to travel across 15 countries and three continents interviewing survivors and descendants of the diplomats who rescued tens of thousands of Jews from the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi death camps. While Nyombayire embarks upon this quest in an effort to uncover potential solutions for the ongoing genocide in Darfur and elsewhere, what emerges from their journey is more a testament to the ways in which the inherent good in the human spirit can trump institutional evil no matter what the circumstance.Written by
Palm Springs Internation Film Festival
Genocide, and the diplomats who took risks to rescue people
This documentary looks at genocide. It compares and contrasts stories of Holocaust survival with the massacres in Rwanda. Although graphic it is not gratuitous. The overall message is one of encouragement to us not to be bystanders and that even in awful situations there arise people who will do good. This is the positive thread that keeps the film inspirational.
Although slanted towards current diplomats there is a message here for all. This is a film that anyone who has a concern for what is right should watch. It refreshes beliefs in the injustice that was meted out to the Jews and Tutsi. It is also an excellent historical documentary, touching a subject in breadth that is sometimes restricted to the well known stories of particular refugees.
It is a little slow to start, and to me there was some awkwardness from the narrators/interviewers and some weak camera-work, which gives a slightly amateurish feel. However it soon becomes fully engaging. Any weaknesses are overcome by the supreme quality of research (much helped by Sir Martin Gilbert), writing (Anthony Valleta) direction (Martin King). The interviewees are authentic and well worth hearing.
The film runs through various examples of courage shown by diplomats in WW2 which led to the saving of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Alongside this is contrasted the situation in Rwanda in 1994. Interviews with families of Holocaust survivors and their rescuers are interspersed with archive WW2 footage and montages of WW2 and Rwandan stills. Sir Martin Gilbert and Stephanie Nyombayire provide narration, interaction and continuity throughout.
The message the audience carry away is that although the phrase "Never Again" became a mantra following the Holocaust, genocide still continues. Although not covered in this film, the film offers a line of support over the approach taken by NATO in Libya. And you may find it challenges you over other current situations where thousands are dying.
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