At one point, the Canadian General bitterly says to Paul,
"you're dirt, Paul. You're not even a nigger. You're
African." Discuss the stereotypes (positive or negative) we
have of "Africa" and how we have arrived at them. What do we know
or not know of the daily lives of Africans? Was there anything in
the movie pertaining to "Africa" that surprised you? How does this
"perception factor" figure in today's political, media and trade
 One of the great agonies of present-day Rwanda is that
ordinary citizens were mobilized to be instruments of genocide.
Coworkers, teachers, neighbors, clergy and even family members were
told to kill or be killed. Think about statements from the radio
that were fear-motivated: If you don't kill them, they will kill
you. In the movie, list the types of propaganda that were used to
mobilize people to be violent. In what other situations in history
have you seen or heard of similar types of propaganda? How can
churches and Christians respond to this when it happens in our own
 Hutu and Tutsi were historically classes
determined more by a person's livelihood (cattle raising vs.
farming) than by "ethnicity". For several hundred years, they
co-existed peacefully and intermarried and the distinctions were
permeable (a Hutu could become a Tutsi, for example). They speak
the same language and follow the same religions and live in the
same villages. As Phillip Gourevitch says, "the distinctions were
small but the blood that was shed is real." The Lutheran Church in
Rwanda and other churches as well as NGOs and government groups are
working with Rwandans in the process of justice and reconciliation.
It is seen by many as "the only way forward." Discuss the
challenges that this might bring to pastors and congregations. How
can churches and individuals here help in that process?
 How does the world's response to victims of natural
disasters (such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami) compare with response
to victims killed by their own governments? Discuss why this might
be so. As Christians, how are we called to respond?
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Our
Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch (Picador:
September 1, 1999) - offers a concise and thorough picture of the
history, the genocide and the immediate aftermath.
When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the
Genocide in Rwanda by Mahmood Mamdani (Princeton
University Press: August 12, 2002) - An influential Ugandan scholar
details the colonial past, the regional issues and the political
factors that gave rise to the Hutu Power movement and genocide.
A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide by
Samantha Power (Perennial: May 1, 2003) - from Armenia to Cambodia
to Bosnia to Rwanda, Power examines why the words "never again"
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in
Rwanda by Romeo A. Dallaire (Carroll and Graf: October 10,
2004) - Played by Nick Nolte in the movie, Dallaire has continued
to call the UN and other foreign governments to account for their
abandonment of Rwanda. This book details the military picture from
an insider's point of view.
Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda by
Alison Des Forges (Human Rights Watch: March, 1999)