Film Revisits Genocide

The streets are bustling with people,
cars, and a hotel manager named
Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle)
and his co-worker are driving up to
the hotel, where he worked in Kigali,
Rwanda.

The hotel is a resort place for
Western people, and Rusesabagina
takes care of wealthy customers as he
always does.

However, the circumstances change
one day.

There are
no more happy
people on
the streets, and
instead, those
streets are filled
with bloody dead
bodies and destroyed
cars.

There has always
been tension
between the
two major ethnic
groups in Rwanda,
the Hutus
and the Tutsis.

The Maj.
Gen. Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu,
was killed on April 6, 1994, and the
Hutus blamed the Tutsis even though
his own party killed him.

Genocide. This is what happened
in Rwanda.

The conflict between the Hutus
and the Tutsis became violent, and the
Hutus started killing the Tutsis.

Rusesabagina, wanted to help his
Tutsi wife (Sophie Okonedo), his children,
and fellow Rwandans regardless
of whether they were Hutus or Tutsis.

Rusesabagina used his manager position
to protect many Tutsis, and the
hotel became a place where they could
stay safely.

“Hotel Rwanda” is based on a real
story.

The real Rusesabagina helped 1,268 Rwandans’ lives.

The producer, Terry George, and
all the actors and actresses did a wonderful
job to show the horrible genocide
that happened only 10 years ago.

It is almost hard to believe people
in the films are acting because both
adults and children actors and actresses
show their fear very realistically.

After the outbreak of violence, all
the Western people left from the hotel,
including workers from the United
Nations.

Rwandans had to protect their lives
by themselves.

Most people may never experience
driving on a street filled with dead
bodies or even seeing it.

Rusesabagina saw those deaths and
nearly faced his
own death many
times while he
was protecting
Rwandans.

As long as
people stayed in
the hotel, they
didn’t see the real
situation outside,
but it’s true
many Rwandan
children lost their
parents.

While children
in many
other countries
were learning about past massacres in
history classes, a massacre was actually
happening in Rwanda.

Many young people who have never
experienced war probably aren’t able
to imagine some people’s living with listening the sound of gunfire every
day, and streets filled with corpses.

When this horrible genocide occurred
in Rwanda, many current
young San Jose State University students
were going to elementary or junior
high schools.

“Hotel Rwanda” isn’t an entertaining
film. It makes people think about
the confl ict between the ethnic groups,
the gap between Westerns and Africans,
and a man’s bravery and love.

People who grow up without knowing
about horrible situations outside of
the ones in their own countries should
know about it, so the same mistakes
may not happen again.

While many students are taking
a nice winter vacation, many people
in different countries may be suffering
from the memory of horrible incidents.

Watching entertaining fiction
films, are of course, fine during the
winter break, but it might be a good
idea to watch at least one film that
makes people think and learn about
the real history that has occurred in
our lifetime.

“Hotel Rwanda” opens in San
Francisco on Friday, Jan. 7, 2005.