princess genevieve

samedi, décembre 18, 2004

Hotel Rwanda

On Thursday, I saw a preview of Hotel Rwanda. It was amazingly good and amazingly disturbing, and I can't stop thinking about it. Don Cheadle was fantastic.

The movie is about the genocide that occurred in Rwanda in 1994, when thousands -- maybe even a million -- Tutsis were slaughtered by the majority Hutus. The UN peacekeepers who were there pulled out after 10 of their soldiers were killed. The West (including the US) sent soldiers, but only to rescue their own citizens out of harms way, allowing the massacre to continue.

Hotel Rwanda tells the story of Paul, a Hutu who managed a fancy hotel in Kigali owned by Belgian national airlines Sabena. Paul happened to have a Tutsi wife, and they had three children. He started out wanting to help and protect his family, but quickly realized there were so many others in need of his help, and he did his best to protect them all. By the end of their time in the hotel, they had over 1000 people taking shelter there.

What was the most amazing thing about that was the Hutu rebels knew they were hiding there. They were not really protected. They were behind a very small gate guarded by at most 4 or 5 police or soldiers. At first, they were under the protection of the UN, but after the UN mostly pulled out, they were left to the whims of the Rwandan military. Paul and everyone else in the hotel used their connections abroad to force the military to protect them.

This was a true story. and so, so sad. and it made me angry and embarrassed that we as Western countries completely ignored this. and other things that go on like this, like what's happening in the Sudan right now.


At 12/18/2004 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonyme said...

Hey, it's Jayne. I too, cannot stop thinking about that movie. It was incredibly well done and I recommend that everyone see it...though bringing tissues is a good idea. I am embarrassed that the U.S. allowed this to happen, especially given the situation in Iraq right now. We justify intervention only when it benefits us. We are ignoring the Sudan just as we did Rwanda because it's of no benefit to the U.S. Shame on us...

At 12/22/2004 7:07 PM, Blogger Malady said...

Don Cheadle is from Denver and his mom comes into the library all the time. I often help her out. She looks just like him!


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