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The Divided WorldHuman Rights and Its Violence$
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Randall Williams

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665419

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665419.001.0001

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A Duty to Intervene

A Duty to Intervene

On the Cinematic Constitution of Subjects for Empire in Hotel Rwanda and Caché

(p.43) 3 A Duty to Intervene
The Divided World

Randall Williams

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses the increasingly prolific transit between the ideology of human rights, the communication industries, and imperialist structures of legitimacy through an analysis of two films, Terry George’s Hotel Rwanda (2004) and Michael Haneke’s Caché (2005). In the cinematic representation of the Rwandan genocide, the film stages the catastrophic events of April 1994 through the relationship between the local hotel manager and the United Nations peacekeeper. Hotel Rwanda enfolds the complex histories and materialities of genocidal violence into a moral tale to be popularly consumed as the “lesson of Rwanda”. In contrast to Hotel Rwanda, the film Caché uses the 1961 slaughter of some two hundred Algerian protestors by the Paris police as the basis for a fictional tale about the colonial return of the repressed in the life of Georges Laurent.

Keywords:   human rights, imperialist structures, Hotel Rwanda, Caché, Rwandan genocide, genocidal violence, Paris police

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