Above, poster for the film Hotel Rwanda.
Yesterday I watched the film Hotel Rwanda. It tells the story of Paul Rusesabagina, the manager of a hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, who saves the lives of 1200 people during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.
I think it effectively told the story of a few people while filling in the background of the situation in Rwanda, letting the audience know the scale of the killings outside the hotel. It was really depressing – I didn’t just cry, I was sobbing. And they didn’t have to show the violence to let you know what was happening; the two places in the film where I remember sobbing particularly hard was when a Red Cross worker spoke of being forced to watch as children were murdered, and when the foreigners (mostly white people) were being evacuated and the (mostly black) locals were being left, most probably to be slaughtered.
It was very sad but I think it is important to be aware of horrible events like this, where the international community knows what’s going on, but they don’t try to stop it. I found an opinion piece by Paul Rusesabagina talking about what is happening in Sudan at the moment and how it will probably just be another situation like Rwanda: where genocide is happening but no-one is coming to the aid of the victims.