He was well-aware of these hazards being placed right in the middle where he would encounter people from both ethnic communities while being a part of one. This film presented the alarming event that changed and set the country of Rwanda in the map of the world as a place where some of the worst atrocities of mankind had been committed, where around 800,000 people were killed in short span of three months. Amidst these horrifying circumstances, Paul stood up to save not only his family and friends but his fellowmen doing everything he could to save the lives around him.
The film showed the burden Paul had to carry as a husband, as a father and as a citizen. Paul was a Hutu but his wife, Tatiana, was actually a Tutsi. Being married to his wife, a Tutsi, Paul would be considered a traitor to the Hutu. The highlighting part of the movie was on the night of the civil war where Paul had to save his family and friends. He then brought them to his hotel. At the same time, more refugees were also arriving at the hotel. Paul left the hotel to seek help and would then talk with the Hutu army general who after some time agreed to go to the hotel. When they arrived, the hotel was already under siege. Paul searched for his family and found them safe hiding.
This film was about the Rwandan genocide which happened in 1994. This genocide arose from the conflict between the Tutsis and Hutus. Since the colonial times, there had been tension between the Hutu who happened to be the majority in the country and the Tutsis who were the minority. Belgians were the colonial masters who brought about the problem by empowering the minority Tutsis making them the elites of the country.
As a result of this, the Hutus continued to be seen as second class citizens in a country where they were the majority in terms of population. The social structure which had been fairly dynamic was divided into two competing and fighting ethnic groups; this resulted in a full blown genocide in Rwanda in April 1994 which saw more than 800,000 people die within a short time most of them being hacked to death (Marko-Stockl, 2004).
The movie was very alarming and terrifying seeing how certain communities in a country would fight amongst each other. The most frightening reality was that 800,000 people were killed in just around three (3) months. I personally feel that such events like these would sometimes be influenced by so many factors and circumstances. The reason would largely point out to the historical occurrences that happened in the country especially the influence of the colonial power that took control of the country. The movie was interesting and depicted an inspiring story of love for ones family and ones country. It showed that in times of great peril, there were still those who would be courageous enough to stand up, lead and protect those that he could.
The movie should be something that would let those in power and those who could do something in times of events like genocide or other heinous and disturbing events to reach out and help. Imagine that people and organizations would discuss in meetings and conferences whether or not to help a country while thousands and thousands of people were dying. I believe that Hotel Rwanda should be seen not just as a mere movie, but a warning and an eye-opener to truths and realities present in the world that would be ignored and set aside. This movie would be a beacon that would stand against apathy and indifference present in the world, in the leaders and in the attitudes of so many people.
Edith Marko-St¶ckl. The Making of Ethnic Insecurity: A Case Study of the Krajina Serbs. (2004)