So many times we just hear about what goes on in other countries. I actually had the pleasure of befriending a woman whose family survived the Rwandan massacre. Needless to say when I actually saw Hotel Rwanda I was not prepared for what actually occurred. Is this why at times we are so distant to recognize the true crisis outside of America? I feel as though when the movie was released the silence was broken. It opened the doors for survivors to speak of their tragedy during this time. These untold stories told through the film have made it possible for the natives of the country and Africa to speak to the world of their triumph.
Hotel Rwanda was released in 2004 by MGM Productions. This movie was based on a true life event which occurred in a small country about the size of Maryland located Africa called Rwanda. Rwanda experienced a genocide between April 1994 and July 1994. A tribe known as the Hutus formed a militia also known as rebels against another called the Tutsis. Corruption from the Hutus formed after their president Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane was gunned down. The Hutus set out to exterminate the Tutsis on account of their ethnicity. They slaughtered and raped the Tutsis, whom they also referred to many times as cockroaches. Over the course of just a few months there were well over 800,000 Africans killed.
Hotel Rwanda is an award winning movie which stars Don Cheadle as the main character.
He portrays a man named Paul Rusesabagina who was a hotel owner that helped save lives of approximately 1200 Africans. He provided a safe haven for them in the luxury hotel he owned. Throughout his conquest he was able to overcome many obstacles to save his people and his family.
Many movie watchers may see this movie as just telling a story, but it is clear the message goes beyond the storyline. The situation has often been referred to as a crisis. The United States absolutely refrained from relating to these instances as a genocide. The focal point of the movie is centered around the US and other country’s regressive concerns from handling the situation. The UN withdrew and only took care of the everyone who was anything but an African. All of the White guests were immediately removed before the killings escalated. The movie really grasps the idea of how the rest of the world will take care of theirs citizens but not step in the help the people of the country. I perceive the idea that society have accepted this idea which basically says, “It’s not our problem.” Paul showed his deep rooted understanding for business and politics. He was able to use his experience to negotiate and gain genuine respect of the soldiered Hutus. With Paul’s aggressive reinforcements he was finally aided by the UN who eventually rescued the remaining refugees.
The survivors who were able to flee went to parts of Congo and Tanzania. While it is sad that these events occurred, Hollywood was able to maintain the integrity and solidarity expressed in the characters representation. This film has definitely opened the doors for others to talk about their survival from this horror. Just when you think another country’s problem does not affect you personally, this movie is an example of people around the world who have been able to share their stories. Although we may never fully grasp the actual concept of this tragedy, we are able to achieve some sense of others triumph, as well as victory for places all around the world.