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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Analysis: Hotel Rwanda

Hotel Rwanda tackles one of the most dreadfully ugly events in recent history. I believe that this conflict in the 90’s marked one of the bloodiest chapters in African History. Based on a true story, director Terry George’s war-time drama is set in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigah during 1994 civil genocide. Rwanda erupted with genocidal rage after the country’s Hutu president was assassinated. The Hutus blamed the murder on the hated Tutsi minority and took up firearms and murdered many of their Tutsi neighbors. The political situation was about to explode. Two ethnic groups, the Tutsis and the Hutus had been turned against each other by the white Belgian settlers, who literally measured skin tone and nose width to elevate the Tutsis to preferred positions. In a few months, more than one million Tutsi men, women and children were harshly murdered while United Nations peacekeepers stood by, powerless to step in and help them. When the Hutu (the largest of the three ethnic groups in Rwanda) majority starts massacring the Tutsi (one of three native peoples of the nations in Rwanda) population, Paul Rusesabagina played by Don Cheadle, the Hutu manager of a luxury hotel goes out of his way to save the Tutsi people because his wife is one of them. Rusesabagina is a Hutus and a very successful businessman who makes powerful connections throughout the movie to protect the lives of his loved ones. His position enables him to meet wealthy and powerful people, such as General Bizimungu who later became notorious in leading the genocide of Tutsis. It was arduous for Paul Rusesabagina to help the Tutsi that were being harassed and beaten frequently because the Americans and European governments quickly removed their own people, leaving the threatened Tutsis to fend for themselves. Paul provided shelter for these people in his hotel and did what it took for him to keep them protected from the chaos that was going on outside the hotel’s boundaries. He even pleaded the general to keep the Hutus away from the hotel. Paul saved over 1,200 refugees.

The film's primary theme is the whole-scale separation the nation endured, which ranges from the Hutus and the Tutsis and which goes all the way down to immediate family members. Through this method, "Hotel Rwanda" conveys to its audience the emotional heartbreak of Rwandan refugees as they witness the bloodshed and strive to find a way to escape.

The filmmaker’s point of view came off educational to me. I’m convinced he wrote the script to inform the people of this society of the many different harms and dangers other countries are encountering. It does seem as if he wrote this as a wake up call for our community. Personally, I agree with the film maker’s point of view because the people of our society seems as if they don’ care about what’s happening in other societies. Moreover, if this kind of non-fictional tragedy or any other tragedy is put on film then America will start to realize that horrible conflicts are going on in this world more than they think they know.

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