Archive for May, 2011

At last a movie telling the truth about Rwanda. Let’s fund it!

May 7, 2011

For 17 years now, Hollywood has been producing “Rwanda movies”. Basically, propaganda-laden tear jerkers invariably portraying Hutus as the bad guys, Tutsis as the victims and white folks as the good guys. Hotel Rwanda, Some time in April, Munyurangabo, Shooting Dogs…all tell the same Rwandan Government-approved story: Rwanda, 1994. Ugly, mean, brutal Hutus kill pretty, defenseless Tutsis. Every white resident of Rwanda jumps on a plane and leave the poor Tutsis to meet horrible death by Hutu machete. All of this might change today. An independent movie is about to cast an unbiased light on Rwanda- as well as on Burundi, the Congo and Uganda- thanks to the combined efforts of war reporter Keith Harmon Snow and movie maker A. M. Simone. Now we Rwandans of the diaspora need to fund this movie into existence. There are so many of us all over the world that, if each Rwandan living in Europe donated 10 euro, we’d be watching the movie next year. Or this year. But let’s hear it from Keith Harmon Snow himself “… our feature length documentary will explore the facts and propaganda about genocide and war crimes in Central Africa. Following the rise of Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame, the film will explore contested terrain about genocide and war crimes in Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Uganda—and Western involvement—exploring the competing narratives about Hutus versus Tutsis, savages versus saviors, victims versus killers, entrepreneurs versus dictators, bystanders versus perpetrators, machetes versus machine-guns, masters versus slaves, white men versus black men and, at the root of it all, good versus evil. My heart breaks each time I review footage of survivors whose stories of suffering—interrupted by bouts of weeping—remain unheard and unacknowledged. Their tales of being hunted by foreign troops, eating roots and leaves, watching brothers drown in wild rivers, surviving massacres and “humanitarian” sector betrayals, carrying children who died in their arms—stories of utter hopelessness—are edge-of-your-seat real life tales of survival again and again and again. Having lived to tell the tale, these survivors now find hope in our efforts to make their stories known and reveal the deeper underlying truths that history seeks to bury along with the millions of dead. Their compassion, courage, resilience and humanity will bring people into greater consciousness about the essence of life and loss, hopes and dreams, liberty and love. Working in collaboration with Los Angeles based film director Ada O. Shaw, Water From the Roots of the Grass is becoming an award-winning and eye-opening documentary uniting journalism, art, politics, and cinema. This is an independent film production—the kind of work that does not get foundation grants easily or at all. Combining our efforts in our respective fields, we have the experience and the expertise necessary to create a truly groundbreaking film. This will not be a dry documentary listing facts and drowning the viewer in details, but a compassionate and moving story. It will not be Hollywood fiction built out of a billion dollar budget and billed as “a true story”, and it will not be my prejudiced version of events, but a colossal and cooperative effort in balance, perspective and equanimity, at once real and alive and shocking and compelling and beautiful. We hope to show you a trailer soon. But we need your help. I am also working on a book exposing the devastation wrought by multinational corporations and western interests in Central Africa—the extraction of timber, gold, diamonds—and the devastation of the rain forests. The book and film will confront the propaganda and expose the truths that involve us all, no matter how remote we might imagine them to be, and no matter how much we want to ignore it. Both book and film will address the “politics of genocide”, demand accountability and challenge impunity, because without this we cannot hope to build a better world. Understanding our seriousness and commitment, many people are putting their faith in us and supporting this project in non-financial ways. This is wonderful, and essential, but it is not enough. We recently received $300 in donations that went straight to Africa to rescue one of our sources, an incredibly courageous human rights defender who was on the run. Please make any donation you can as a way to help with what often seems like an impossible situation. Everything helps. Can you make a $1000 donation? If you donate $500 or above I will personally bring you back something special from Africa in proportion to the level of your support. Every $100 helps us bring this film to the screen. If you can only support us at the $20 or $10 level, please do: you are supporting my daily meals. The names of all donors (who so choose) will appear in the film’s thank-you credits. Please use PAYPAL on my website (www.ConsciousBeingAlliance.com) or send a check directly to: keith harmon snow, 84 Goshen Road, Williamsburg, MA 01096. We will soon have a dedicated web site for this film, with donation buttons there, but for now please use my current site. And, in the meantime, please also notify me by email so that we can add you to our mailing list and keep you abreast of developments. Please make a “FILM PROJECT” notation with your donation.”

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