Operation Turquoise - Aurélien Recoing - France
Operation Turquoise (2007)
Director: Alain Tasma
The Rwandan genocide was a tragic event, but what actually happened? Operation Turquoise takes an uncompromising look at the horrors the French Special Forces were reluctantly involved in during a supposed humanitarian mission.
While Operation Turquoise is a fictional film, it is based on an all too true story of the horrors a group of French soldiers and two journalists saw in the middle of the Rwanda genocide in 1994. The military sent the Special Forces on a "humanitarian" mission and they arrived in the country with only very partial knowledge of what was occurring in the country. They would gradually open their eyes and realize the tremendous atrocities but were unable to act as they were supposed to adhere to a neutral status. An investigation into how the French intervened during the Rwandan genocide and the role that held the military in this operation followed after.
This film calls into question the neutrality of the military during the genocide, its limitations and its consequences. Indeed, the role of Operation Turquoise was to protect the Hutu and Tutsi people without taking part in the armed conflict between these two communities. The neutrality of the intervention was strongly criticized later. Because of the military's actions, it allowed the Rwandans to continue organizing massacres. Nearly one million people lost their lives in what is considered one of the most destructive genocides in history.
Alain Tasma chose to tell the story as seen by soldiers and two journalists. You will discover the atrocity happening at the same time as the characters sharing their distress and their helplessness.
It was June 23rd, 1994 when French Special Forces entered Rwanda under a UN mandate for a recon mission. We follow these officers and soldiers during the first two weeks of their "humanitarian" mission, a mission all the more ambiguous since the French government long supported the perpetrators of the genocide that claimed nearly one million lives. Should a soldier ask disturbing questions rather than blindly obey orders? These are the sort of questions the soldiers ask themselves as they go deeper into a place darkness where courage, self-sacrifice and honor no longer protect anyone when confronted with destructive fury.