The movie Hotel Rwanda focuses on the story of a man named Paul Rusesabagina, a manager of a European-owned hotel in Rwanda. By creating a seret refuge camp in the hotel, Rusesabagina was able to help save the lives of 1, 200 Tutsis from the Hutu’s during the brutal genocide in 1994. The gist of the film is depicted in the underlying genius of how the film was able to portray a hellish event without using too much distressing scenes just to be able to show the audience the brutality of the genocide, the narrative of political criticism and comments from the lines spoken by the artists served as a replacement for these scenes leaving it to one’s imagination on how severe the true event was.
Many social issues were touched in the film. For one, the indifference of the West towards the African lives is believed to be the reason behind the genocide. (Theis, 2004). Another is that the social structure as to who should be on top and who should have the power is discussed all through out the film since the genocide was planned by the Hutu’s long before to take in effect the “one man-one vote” which served as an opportunity for them to kill as many Tutsi Christians. (“Hotel Rwanda”), this is not only in a political sense but in a religious perspective as well. Many of these issues exist not only in Africa but also in other countries which remain unresolved.
One of the most straining parts of the movie is the presence of the peacekeepers and their inability to intervene because they were told not to and this makes the situation more devastating for the hopeful Tutsi. The tension showed in the film address the inability of some to be able to help in giving out solutions to the problem even if it already requires personal judgment. What really makes me uncomfortable is the inequality shown in the film and the brutal solutions done. It is also frustrating to see that while most of the foreign nationals were saved from the holocaust many of the Tutsi are left hoping to be saved by the intervention of others and relying only in the abilities of one man.
This film allowed me to reflect more on my social responsibilities the way it has challenged Paul to help his family and still be able continue to saving lives of others without questioning personal judgment. Moreover, the film was able to show me how one man can make a difference during desperate times and create measures that may appear as inevitable to others.
Theis, P. 2004. Hero. Off Off Off. Retrieved June 18, 2008 from http://www.offoffoff.com/film/2004/hotelrwanda.php
Hotel Rwanda. Frontline Fellowship. Retrieved June 18, 2008 from http://www.frontline.org.za/articles/hotel_rwanda.htm
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