100 Days (2001)
Director: Nick Hughes.
Starring: Eric Bridges Twahirwa, Cleophas Kabasita, Davis Kagenza, Mazimpaka Kennedy, Davis Kwizera, David Mulwa, Didier Ndengeyintwali, Denis Nsanzamahoro, Justin Rusandazangabo.
the Hutus in Rwanda go on a genocidal rage against the Tutsi in Rwanda
"All over Rwanda, people are organized. Even here in your town, people are rising to this challenge. You must understand that the decision of this new government has been made. You have been told, ordered, that the first enemy, before fighting the rebels is the Tutsi population. Do not wish some of them dead. We are going to kill them all. . . . We are going to clean the whole country. . . . After we finished, there will be no going back to living together, because there'll be no one for us to go back to live with."
The man who said this tells his priest, an older white man, that he is really being asked to kill the Tutsi. The old man misses the meaning of the statement and gives a talk on when one can kill, namely in self-defense.
The official that was told to kill all the Tutsi speaks before a gathering of the Hutu people in the town. The Hutu had been ruled by the Tutsi, but the more numerous Hutu forced the Tutsi out of power. The Tutsi gathered their forces in exile in Uganda. Now the Tutsi rebels are taking back Rawanda by fore of arms. So the Hutu turn to genocide of the Tutsi in Rawanda. The official tells the Hutu: "You are going to clean the land for your children. . . . You only have to do it once, but it has to be done once and for all and it will be forgotten! Get rid of women and their baby rats. Don't leave any rats for the future."
A pretty young woman runs through the woods followed by a man. She sits down and the fellow catches up with her. He asks her to kiss him and she does. The woman tells Baptiste that she is not going to have sex with him, because she is not going to get pregnant like so many of her girlfriends. She wants a good family, like the good family she now has. Josette then says she has got to go home for her father will be waiting for her.
When Josette gets back home her father is upset with her and asks her where has she been. She says, nowhere. He is upset because the president has been kill in a plane crash. "The war is starting again."
Baptiste goes home too. His father is already packing up his pick-up truck. He too is concerned about his child, saying that the president has been assassinated. "Tutsi families like us are being attacked." They have to be ready to leave early.
A young boy is playing with a chameleon. He sees a jeep and a truck pull up on top of a hill. The official who is in charge of the genocide asks a fellow Hutu how many Tutsi are there in te town? About 50,000. The little boy sneaks up close to the men where he can hear them. A lot of young men are there brought in on the truck. The official says that first road blocks must be set up. Eliminate the Tutsi leaders immediately. "This will create terror and destroy any organization." The Tutsi will become scared and will run to the Catholic church. Anyone going to the church will be killed. After the talk, the men quickly load up to start their evil tasks.
Baptiste's family visits Josette's family. Her older brother talks outside with Baptiste. Baptiste tell his friend that he's thinking of going to Uganda to join the Tutsi rebels. His friend doesn't take Baptiste seriously and starts teasing Baptiste about being too scared to be a soldier. Baptiste gets annoyed and starts chasing his friend around the outside area.
Inside the house the two families talk. Baptiste's father says they came over to tell their friends that they are all going up to the church. It will be safe there because the Belgian UN troops are up there. They urge Josette's family to come with them. The other father, however, says: "But the fighting has noting to do with us." Baptiste's father says he hears from Kigali that people are being killed. The other fathers replies: "Those troubles never happen here." Baptiste's father says he's especially worried because of his political activities. He would be one of the first to be killed. And he's especially worried for Baptiste, for they especially want to get at the young Tutsi men. Furthermore, the other father should worry about his son, Pierre. Both boys should be sent away together.
Josette's little brother, Etienne, now comes in to tell what the bad men said. The prefet is closing the roads around town to stop people from leaving. The man also said that no Tutsi must leave because he wants to kill all the Tutsi. The adults decide that the boys will leave early tomorrow morning.
Josette and Baptiste meet on the hill. Baptiste says he loves her.
At night some young men throw a rock through a window in Josette's house. They start laughing. The father comes out to scold them. One of the young men shouts: "You think you an cheat us at your shop in the day and beat us at night?" The men sas that the father will be in trouble tomorrow. Another shows the father the machetes they have bought.
A Hutu priest comes and the young men go away. The priest is worried about even more violence tonight. He talks with Mr. Nkera. Then the priest notices Josette and he likes what he sees. He says Josette is very beautiful.
Baptiste's family is packing for Baptiste and Pierre to lave early. Now a big group of young Hutu men walk up to Baptiste's house. The men start breaking all the windows of the living room to get inside. Baptiste tries to fight the crowe with a machete, but his father grabs him and sends him running out of the house. Baptiste hides in the store run by Mr. Nkera. Other young men are coming to loot the store. The men get the door open and starts grabbing everything off the shelves. Baptiste is hiding in the cellar.
The next day Pierre comes over to Baptiste's house. He senses that something is definitely wrong. The house has been looted and broken glass is all over the living room. Pierre goes down the hall and sees huge areas of blood here and there. He finds the dead bodies of the father and mother and their baby. The young fellow is devastated by the sights. He is also very scared. He runs into a television crew speaking English. They want to interview Baptiste. Pierre says that Mr. Kabera was not liked because he was in an opposition political party. And, yes, he was Tutsi. Pierre gets scared again and runs off.
The Nkera family wants to get past a road block. They are called cockroach Tutsi and threatened with death. They take everything that the family is carrying. Then they let them pass by. The family goes up the hill to the church. There are many Titsi families gathering there. The Belgian UN troops are at the church.
Baptiste goes to a safe house and finds Pierre there. Here comes a bunch of Hutu killers down the dirt road to the house. The woman of the house sees them coming and lets everyone out to run for their lives. Almost everyone running is hacked down by machetes. Baptiste and Pierre run as fast as they can, but they are chased by the men. They reach a river. Baptiste jumps in and swims to the other side, Pierre jumps into the river too, but he can't swim. Pierre drowns in the river.
Josette talks to a Belgian captain. She says to the captain that as long as the soldiers are here, the Hutus can't get at them. The captain agrees, but adds, as long as they are here. That sounds like the UN soldiers might be leaving soon.
Behind the black priest comes some more refugees headed to the church. The church is completely filled and with many others outside. The new refugees tell about a massacre of Tutsi in the stadium.
The UN troops go to the stadium. There they find thousands of dead bodies. The captain informs his superiors, saying that if they leave tomorrow, all the Tutsi at the church will be killed. The problem is that the UN Security Council has voted that all but a token force leave Rwanda. So the UN soldiers are leaving for Kigali today. They all get on the trucks and go up to the church. At the church they pick up some more troops. But now they start to leave. And now the Tutsi start panicking because they know they will be killed without the presence of the soldiers. Nevertheless, the soldiers leave.
The towns people see the UN soldiers leaving, so now they bring out all the boy students from the school. They have a list of the Tutsi boys. They call them out and put them in an abandoned gas station building. Then they set the building on fire and burn alive everyone inside.
The old white man priest now leaves the church with a French soldier escort.
A Hutu priest grabs a pretty woman, takes her to a private room and rapes her. Another Hutu priest, the one who was impressed by Josette, goes and gets her. The priest now says that Josette will become his wife. That way he can protect her from the Hutus. Josette gives in. the priest takes her to a private room and rapes her. Josette gets pregnant from the rape.
The Hutus are coming for the Tutsi. They kill every Tutsi in the church.
A man comes in to tell Josette that the priest wants to give her a chance to see her family. What he means is that she can see her family amongst all the killed Tutsi in the church. Later the Hutu fill up a mass grave with the bodies of the dead Tutsi.
Black UN troops now arriver and their leaders talks to the Hutu of the town. He says they will provide them with protection. The spokesman for the town tells the commander of the troops that when the rebels get here, they will kill the Hutus, so the Hutus want to be escorted over the border. The commander says that the road out is under rebel control. And now the Hutus are moved to the church on the hill.
The commander speaks to the priest who raped Josette. He talks about ethnic killing and says that the Catholic Church has been accused of complicity in the killings.
Josette talks to the other woman who was raped. The other woman says she is going to die because the rape gave her a disease. They both say all Hutu should die.
A hateful woman comes over to Josette and says that she's lucky to have a Hutu husband. "But we'll see what to do with you once you've had your baby." A little girl asks why are the Tutsi so different from them? The nasty woman says that Tutsi come from the north, are tall and slim with a small nose and a small head.
A boy soldier sees the UN commander arrive and he takes the major over to where the Tutsi rebels are. The group is a large one. Major Kalusha of the UN Zambian Battalion introduces himself to the Tutsi commander.
Baptiste is captured by a boy soldier. He takes him to the Tutsi commander, who tells Baptiste that they need him to show them the routes into the town. Baptiste says he can never go back home. The commander tells him that he's in the army now, and under the commander's command. Baptiste will follow his orders.
Major Kalusha goes to the site of the mass burials. The little girl, who was told the Tutsi are bad, tells the major that's the place where the Tutsi live. He talks to her some and she says that the Tutsi belongs in a pit latrine, because they are Tutsi. The major gets mad at her for being so prejudiced that he tells her " . . . whoever committed these crimes will go to prison." The little girl takes off running to the church. She rushes into the church and tells her father what the major told her. The father wants to leave. The nasty woman speaks out saying that the father should give her his child, because the father doesn't know how to teach children. The father says that they will kill us for what we did. This statement brings the ire of the killers down upon the man and they won't let the father leave. The dad insists on leaving, so a man with a machete is ordered to stop the man. He hits the man in the back of the head with his machete. The father goes does down and the girl starts crying.
A big man now takes charge. He says they are all innocent and must stick to that story. Then the guy says his group is in charge because they did the killings. He holds a grenade in his hand.
It gets dark. Baptiste shows the soldiers the way.
Some people try to just walk out of the church but the machete men stop them. The nasty lady picks up a grenade and starts unscrewing the top. She drops the grenade on the floor and it explodes. No more nasty lady.
Now the rebel soldiers arrive. They surround the church on the outside. They smash open some of the windows. They see the men with weapons threatening the people inside. The soldiers start shooting everyone with any type of weapon in his hand. Wherever the big man tries to hide amongst the people, they run from him making it impossible for him to hide. The man is shot dead. The doors are opened and the people run outside as fast as they can.
Baptiste sees Josette. He sees that she is pregnant. He sits down beside her outside the church.
Outside the church there is sign saying: Genocide Memorial. And now forensic experts come to examine the mass burial site. Of course, the Hutu priest tries to stop them, but they pay little attention to the priest.
A midwife comes in to birth the child of Josette. She has a baby girl. Josette tells the midwife to take the baby away because it's not her baby. She doesn't want the child because she wants Baptiste to come back to her. Right now she doesn't think he will come back because of the baby.
Later, Josette takes the baby outside and walks to a waterfall. She places the baby down on a rock and then walks away. The boy soldiers sees this and he rescues the baby.
Well-told story about genocide amidst tribalism. It's an ugly story. You identify with the characters being hunted down and don't want to see them be killed, but this is genocide and most of them are killed. The Hutu try to wipe out all the Tutsi. but the Tutsi rebels backed by soldiers from other African nations return to Rwanda to stop the genocide. A lot of the bad Hutu are killed but this is not much consolation given the great number of Tutsi killed. So it's a sad story to watch for sure, and this is true of most of the films about the Rwanda genocide.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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