In Cinemas March 31

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cecile Kayirebwa - Rwandan Vocalist featured on the Shooting Dogs soundtrack.

The beautiful, moving voice of Cecile Kayirebwa features throughout SHOOTING DOGS, functioning at key moments in the film to heighten its emotive impact. Cecile is well loved in her homeland Rwanda and beyond. She has just finished her new album 'Ibihozo' ('Lullabies'). It is her 3rd album after 7 years of silence.

Listen online at


At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Ben Warner said...

After staying up until 5a.m. last night to read everything on this website, I have quite a few comments to say. I'm not sure they're particularly relevant to this post about the music in Shooting Dogs, but since it seems to be the practice to use the comments section as a discussion board for the whole film, I hope that doesn't matter.

I’ve now seen the film twice: first, a preview copy my English teacher got hold of for Holocaust Memorial Day and showed during lunch breaks at my school, and more recently, last Thursday in Edinburgh with my girlfriend. I was shattered each time after watching it, and it has affected me more than any other film I have seen.

I knew very little about the Rwandan genocide in 1994 before seeing the film; at the time, I was 6, and so didn't have a very keen eye for headlines, and since then it has been depressingly easy for such a horrific piece of history to slip under the radar. This film is a stunning success in revealing the reality of what happened and simultaneously hammering home the continued relevance of what happened, today. I would unreservedly say that this film is one of the most important ever made, and every effort should be made to get people to see it.

While I can see there is some dispute from some people commenting on this website as to the accuracy or fair representation by the film of the events in 1994, I believe that the message contained within it remains as vital as ever – the evils of apathy, complacency, and selfishness, and the depths of depravity mankind can reach when left unchecked – and it serves more than adequately to provide at least a basic education of events to the vast numbers of people in this country and around the world who I am sure were equally ignorant of what occurred as I was. To have achieved in a two-hour film such a devastating impact seems to be to justify some simplification of events that may have occurred; and I have faith that, based on the number of positive comments on this website and the clear collaboration between the foreign members of the cast and crew and Rwandans – particularly those who were survivors of the genocide – this film has an authority to drag this piece of history back onto the global consciousness that few others sources have.

Many people on this website have also highlighted the continued relevance of the film, in particular the world’s apathy towards Darfur. It is clearly essential that the world recognises and remembers its crime – that it was complicit in the genocide in Rwanda by standing by – and this film is certainly an achievement to that end; however, I think that many – and from the comments on this website, it seems in particular many Rwandans – would agree that there must be more than mere head-shaking and empty eulogies, but a visible effort to redress the attitude which still exists today, of a total unwillingness to serve any end other than in one’s own interests, and to make excuses and pass the buck whenever real action is needed. In particular, the lack of accountability or responsibility held by any one person at the top level, for example in the UN, seems a major flaw and loophole which allows such events to occur: in the morass of bureaucracy that lies above the individuals on the ground, there seems no need for one person to feel the need to take action or risk condemnation in the face of the world, and the proverbial buck is not even passed but simply falls through to oblivion. The questions raised by this film must surely strike a chord with anyone who is even aware that atrocities are happening on a daily basis, and promotion of such a message is vital if we are ever to see an end to such evils.

It is for these reasons that I believe it is essential for this film to reach as wide an audience as possible, and while the monumental efforts of those who made it are clearly great, and can only be congratulated, especially given the limited budget and time, it is a pity that it remains so limited in its distribution in comparison to major hits. (For example, and this may seem absurd, but it still rankles: Chicken Little, a film which I saw and which amazed me in that any competent adult could actually pass on such a shockingly bad screenplay to be made into a film, hit nearly all the cinemas in nearly every city in the UK, and had advertising on billboards, buses, and everywhere, while Shooting Dogs remains confined to ‘Art House’ cinemas and occasional showings in only the very major cities – London, Glasgow, etc.). I hope that its distribution continues to pick up speed, and I am impressed that it has successfully been shown to so many important groups, such as the DfID and AI, but still feel it is equally important to reach every ordinary person – the people whose collective consciences could eventually sway the apathetic and selfish attitudes at the top level of politics today (of course, given the relatively small impact of efforts such as the Make Poverty History campaign, you might wonder if this is simply wishful thinking, but I wonder how much the thousands who wore the white bands and turned out for Live 8 actually believed in the cause they were campaigning for, any more than people who lamented the atrocities in Rwanda at the time did as they carried on with their lives as usual back in the comfort of the West).

To this end, and given the apparently minimal aim of this film on being a commercial enterprise, I wonder if it would help to release the script – for free, in its entirety – on the internet or through any other media, to the general public. The script is a very powerful and carefully crafted work, and having read the extracts for the Roadblock Scene on this website, I can only think that it would spread interest and enthusiasm in the film. While this website is a fascinating and very open central resource on the film, the ability of the internet to allow word to spread fast and very widely should not be underestimated, and this can be best achieved by spreading publicity out, such as by making the script available at a number of sites, rather than trying to draw everyone in to one central website such as this. Just a thought.

An example of the film’s apparently minimal impact can be seen in today’s Mail-on-Sunday colour supplement magazine ‘Night&Day’: a 6-page article by the BBC reporter Fergal Keane on his experience of the genocide in Rwanda, describing almost exactly the events that occur in the film (no doubt because both are based on the same reality), without once mentioning ‘Shooting Dogs’. An opportunity missed, sadly.

Finally, a huge thank you to those involved in making this film: it has affected me deeply, and I’m sure it will many others. Its message is universal and inescapable; the idea of doing what you can within your sphere, however limited, is one that must be promoted and I believe is gaining ground across the world, especially in such areas as Fair Trade and the environment, but it is clear that these must not be seen as the end – a nod towards doing your bit – but simply a small facet of it. An effort far greater is required by everyone, and this is sadly a reality which I doubt will ever happen.

On a small aside, my dad taught Hugh Dancy at Oxford, and Hugh acted in one of his plays (‘King Francis 1’); while I know my parents saw him recently, I have not spoken to him since I was very small, and it would be interesting to talk to him about his views having worked on this film – and also to tell him that his pin-up status has spread to the heights of a photo of him stuck to my girlfriend’s wardrobe.

-Ben Warner (

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gov’t to seek advice on genocide movies
Sunday, 23 April 2006
The government is to seek advice from countries that have experienced genocide and from credible international lawyers, on how to handle genocide movies whose directors and producers have reportedly digressed from their purported goals.According to Joseph Habineza, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, the move follows persistent outcries by genocide survivors...

that the movies do not depict the 1994 Genocide. “This is a very controversial issue. We have to consult with people like the Jews who, among other people faced genocide, international lawyers and other stakeholders and see how we can approach it,” Habineza told The New Times on phone Friday, April 21. The Minister, however, noted that the movie producers and directors are private businesspeople who only seem to take into consideration international business and cinematography laws.
“This means that we need to seek legal and stakeholder advice before tackling the matter,” he said.
Asked to comment on actor Paul Rusesabagina’s 5% pledge from the proceeds of the movie Hotel Rwanda to the genocide survivors, Habineza answered: “I am in contact with Terry George, the Irish Director and Co-writer of the movie to find out about the issue.”
Genocide movies have in the recent past attracted serious criticism, with most people uneasy that the proceeds are not channeled into helping the survivors and the victims’ families.
At a function organised by the American Embassy on Thursday, April 20 to honour the staff of the American Embassy who were killed during the genocide, Evariste Kalisa, the Head of Memorial Department in IBUKA, lambasted the producers and urged the international community to denounce the films.
“They are just mocking the genocide survivors, enriching themselves and distorting facts of the genocide,” a bitter Kalisa, a Member of Parliament, said.
A fortnight ago, IBUKA President François Xavier Ngarambe, also lashed out at the films, saying they were deceptive.
“These films have not been helpful in any way; they have not offered anything like financial assistance to the survivors and nearly all of them do not portray the exact realities of the Rwandan Genocide,” Ngarambe said.
The survivors argue that the genocide movies: 100 Days, Sometimes in April, Hotel Rwanda, Shooting Dogs, and documentaries Keepers of Memory and Through My Eyes are yet to give any financial assistance to survivors, and to truly depict the genocide.

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At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Clare Krishan said...

Dear Moderator - perhaps you need a "contact us" thread for the this and the latter thought - but Vatican Radio 105live

features an interview with David Belton about your film today ('Rwanda Revisited' download will be online for a week or so I believe - or mp3
Can you PERMANENTLY archive it with a link to this blog? It makes good points many should hear but the RM feed or MP3 file will time out soon, a shame since then it is lost [copyright issues may be involved - perhaps David has rights since its his voice?]

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous david belton said...

Hi Clare,

Just picked this up. I don't know how we can get hold of the broadcast and run it as a download.
But let me respond to the piece that's above:
Shooting Dogs was made in Kigali with Rwandans. Many were survivors. It was filmed at the place where the events happened. It included people from Ibuka. Unlike Hotel Rwanda we didn't go to South Africa to make the film.
Over four months we contributed nearly £500,000 of our small budget into the local economy. In much the same way as Raoul Peck's film, Sometimes in April, did.
Since the end of the film we have invested a large sum of money at the school where we filmed - rebuilding their lavatories, investing in a screen and DVD player, renovating their main hall and soon, building and invesitng in a computer lab.
We are also planning to invest a sum of money into funding a short film made by members of our Rwandan crew. So they can make their own films.
Our intention is to invest in the medium term in Rwanda not just be there for the short term.
I hope this helps.
Best wishes

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