The movie Hotel Rwanda highlights the breath-taking violence of the 1994 genocide by narrating the story of a Rwandese, an ordinary or common person who survived in the tough and extraordinary circumstances. Don Cheadle plays the role of Paul Rusesabagina : the manager Hotel Mille Collines in the Kigali capital city of Rwanda. In the movie Hotel Don Cheadle plays the role of the ordinary man surviving during the tough and trying times in the history of Rwanda. The story line of this iconic movie generally captures the events and circumstances that characterized the early days of the unprecedented savage killings of the minority Tutsis by the majority Hutus tribes in Rwanda.
George Terry the film or movie director uses the movie to capture a human face to the genocide by harnessing the extreme suffering to make people understand the horrors associated with genocide. The movie Hotel Rwanda rated 13 does not portray the explicit images of young children who hacked their neighbours to death or the burning of churches and other sacred locations full of refugees, incidences that were actually common during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The genocide led to the loss of approximately 800,000 lives of the minority Tutsi tribe (Terry, 2004).
The movie Hotel Rwanda focuses on personal aspects of the violence witnessed during the 1994 Rwanda genocide. There are claims that Belgians colonizers are responsible for the generation of Hutu versus Tutsis ideologies that informed the atrocious violence witnessed in 1994 Rwandan genocide. In the history of Rwanda, the Tutsis oppressed the Hutus for a long period thus creating a fertile for instigation of ethnic animosities. The Belgian government bears much of the blame that it is responsible for promoting the hatred between the Hutus and Tutsis during and before the 1994 violence.
The Belgian government considered the Tutsis a superior race or ethnic group in Rwanda because of the fact that they had a lighter skin that is almost similar to that of the white men. They also considered superior to the Hutus based on their facial features and decided to aid the Tutsis into positions of power. It is important to appreciate the historical fact that even though the Tutsis were the minority while the Hutus were the majority, the Tutsis also oppressed the Hutus and were respected, powerful and wealthier than their Hutu counterparts were. These oppressive of activities by the Belgians towards the Hutus led to resentment by the majority Hutu tribe (Terry, 2004).
The festering anger among the Hutus would soon lead to an outburst and a violent conflict that was responsible for the deaths of over 800'000 Tutsis. It is therefore very important to note that Belgians contributed towards instigating and escalating the ethnic tensions. The admonition of French for supporting Hutu activities by supplying weapons to facilitate their atrocities are some of the key highlights of Hotel Rwanda. The movie hotel Rwanda tends to point an accusing finger to the complacency and inaction of civilized or Western countries in order to save the lives of civilians. The violence erupted when the Belgian colonizers left Rwanda giving room for the Hutus to vent out their resentment and anger upon the Tutsis who no longer enjoyed the backing of their colonial masters(Terry, 2004)..
The movie Hotel Rwanda highlights certain aspects of the 1994 Rwanda conflict that transformed into a genocide due to deliberate and coordinated plan of carrying out the killings that left nearly 800,000 Tutsis dead. Joaquin Phoenix in the play is a Western journalist who faces the accusations levelled against the Westerners for fuelling and fanning the ethnic tensions and animosities thus resulting into the 1994 genocide. The radio station sponsored by the Hutu power is an evidence of the use of media to fuel the violence. The use of such media facilities to spread the propaganda contributed towards escalating violence characterizing the 1994 genocide. The shooting down of the plane of the Hutu president marks the turning point in the violence of 1994 and at this point, the announcer calls for the killing of Tutsis or cutting down all the tall trees(Terry, 2004)..
It is important to note that the movie Hotel Rwanda provides a near-candid narration of the extent of human rights abuse associated with the 1994 Rwanda genocide hence contributing towards sensitizing the world on the need to uphold the respect for human rights. The movie Hotel Rwanda can therefore very easily pass for a humanitarian propaganda except for the fact that it tries as much as possible to give true account of what exactly transpired during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. By highlighting the negative roles played by the Westerners and Rwandese alike, the movie demonstrates the failure of the international human rights. The most regrettable aspect of the Rwandan 1994 genocide is the fact that the international community did not respond or react to the violence and bloodletting in the manner in which they should have responded(Terry, 2004).
The UN nations failed to intervene in the escalating violence even when bodies littered the streets and bushes in Rwanda. The UN did not allow their soldiers in Rwanda to intervene even after realizing how terrible the violence was getting. In the movie Hotel Rwanda, the General (Nick) regrets and complains of the orders preventing him from intervening in the gruesome conflict. He refers to the westerners as racists who do not care about the lives of dying civilians in Rwanda. The US state department refrained from using the term "genocide" since genocide would call for sending of troops to intervene.
Though war appeared to be a civil war that would be very tricky situation for intervention of the UN, its failure to intervene resulted to the loss of thousands of lives simply because it was unwilling to commit resources to solve conflict in Rwanda simply because the UN considered it is a small insignificant country. The international community and the United Nations are equally responsible for the sorry extent to which the violence and genocide reached (Terry, 2004).
In conclusion, it is important to note that the Rwandan genocide of 1994 happened due to the deeply entrenched animosity at that time between the minority Tutsis tribe and the Hutu tribe that were majority and the failure by the international community to respond appropriately to the violence. The movie Hotel Rwanda does not implicate the West in a detailed manner but captures the orders by the UN preventing the UN soldiers from intervening in the bloodletting violence.