Thoughts on "Hotel Rwanda"

26 December, 2004 at 18:54 Leave a comment

Probably a bad choice of movie for Christmas but I had to watch “Hotel Rwanda” as I only heard of what happened as horrible but never explored in depth. Here is a review from Berardinelli –
“If you’re like me, you probably paid little attention to the attempted genocide that occurred during the civil war in Rwanda in the mid-1990s (more than one million people died). I remember reading about it in the papers and occasionally seeing clips on the news, but it didn’t leave much of an impression. (Or, as one character in the film puts it: “If people see this footage, they’ll go, ‘Oh my God! That’s horrible!” then go on eating their dinner.”) Hotel Rwanda serves a couple of important purposes – explaining what happened in the African country during 1994 and personalizing it as the biography of a remarkable man.
Hotel Rwanda introduces us to Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), the then-manager of the five-star Hotel Milles Collines in Kigali. When Hutu extremists took over the country in 1994, their first goal was to exterminate all of the Tutsi people (whom they call “cockroaches”). With the U.N. mired in red tape that rendered their peace-keepers ineffective and most of the world turning a blind eye, there was little to stop the Hutus from slaughtering the Tutsis. Paul, a Hutu married to a Tutsi (Sophie Okonedo), takes a stand, allowing Tutsi refugees to camp out at the hotel. Initially, he is able to employ bribery to keep the soldiers away, but, when his stocks of wine and whiskey run dry, he finds the circumstances increasingly desperate and he must resort to extreme measures to save not only the refugees but his family.
Hotel Rwanda offers a stirring reminder of the kind of senseless horror that can result from race and/or religious hatred (not to mention the kinds of horrors human beings can visit upon others of their species). What happened in Rwanda isn’t an isolated example. Conflicts that are occurring now re-enforce the notion that mankind is incapable of learning from history. Of course, most people don’t know much about Rwanda, and that’s something director Terry George (Some Mother’s Son) is attempting to change with this movie”
All in all, it was a movie that has to be seen and pondered about in isolation. Paul Rusesabagina is a modern hero who stood against tyranny and oppression at the risk of losing all that was dear to him. Am glad that this movie introduced me to him and it stands as a testimony to the fact that there is someone like them all over the world but they are becoming an increasingly endangered species…


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