Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes in April - tell everyone about it, 19 Feb 2011
This review is from: Sometimes In April [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Ridiculously good....one can become so conditioned to the formulaic "highs" in a "Hollywood-style" film, having been lulled first into the lows. A USUAL "Hollywood-style" film tantalises the emotions with sadness, frustration and anger then pulls you out with uplifting music, meaningful looks, a sense of hope and heroism and ultimately fulfillment....SOMETIMES IN APRIL simply DOES NOT do that..... I was reflecting on what it did to me.....it's a little more complex than this, but it made my muscles tense, my teeth grind, my skin sweat, my eyelids swell and my stomach sick. At the end of the film I burst into tears in helplessness and despair at the thought that the clock can't be rewound to enable a different course of action, and having been too gripped to let out any emotion until then. It's not because of the violence (which is all in there but cleverly alluded to in some cases rather than shockingly graphic).....It is SO gripping and harrowing because every time you think you're going to get a Hollywood moment.... well, basically.... you don't get one. You get something else, and not always the opposite of uplifting and heroic... just different. SOMETIMES IN APRIL explores the cleverness of mass hypnosis through relentless public announcement on radio (including the de-humanisation of the Tutsis by close association with insect infestation); the stages of denial (that there's anything wrong with what the genocidaire are doing and ); the nonchalant approach to buying in arms from the West and China to arm the civilian militia; the deeply emotional exploration of a man who struggles to bring himself to hear what he knows to be the inevitable fate of his wife and children; the history behind the genocide; the psychological pain and dilemmas faced by moderate Hutus who were given intolerable decisions to make:"prove you're loyal to the cause by taking a machete to your traitor of a colleague and friend"; the reality of a local Rwandan Gacaca court compared with the high-tech media friendly courts of the UN..... and the list of fascinating and educational goes on. It's a broad brush stroke which paints an unfathomable picture... a picture that human brains are in the most part unable to comprehend as reality until you go to Youtube and look up "Ghosts of Rwanda" and see that it's not a "story" but a reality. SOMETIMES IN APRIL is also a masterpiece which gives depth of understanding of the human issues as well as the events and reference points you'll be compelled to read about afterwards...it evokes the same kind of unfortunate impact of road-crash rubber-necking where people can't take their eyes of what's happened. Any sense of heroism is ironic and complex as aside from the RPF intervention at the end of the film (which is portrayed in an understated and "un-Hollywoodistic style") it focuses on the attempted heroism of "the brother"... a radio RTLM DJ who is responsible for spreading the hate from behind the detached setting of the radio studio, but on the other side of the coin is emotiononally loyal to his moderate Hutu brother and his Tutsi wife (and mixed-tribe children). I won't tell you whether he's successful in his attempted heroism or not (and we do know that there were heroic acts during the genocide)......Ultimately, hope in a grander sense is only really delivered through its portrayal of the stoic people of Rwanda as they attempt to systematically moved forwards towards reconciliation and emotional healing. This is VERY, VERY, VERY clever film.... if you know a bit about Rwanda and you don't watch it, I think you'll potentially be missing a number of jigsaw pieces (predominantly around the exploration of human behaviour and the complexities of genocide and emotional recovery).
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4.8 out of 5 stars (13 customer reviews)
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