Hotel Rwanda is an interesting and well-told story that compels people to watch it. It is set in Rwanda’s capital city Kigali, during a time when the infamous Rwanda genocide took place. The film revolves around the unbelievable Paul Rusesabagina’s real story, an assistant manager at Milles Collines Hotel. Using a combination of wit, bribery, and well-established connections, Paul saved 1238 Tutsis from being killed during the genocide. It is an uplifting and encouraging film that proves the ability of human beings even during the worst of circumstances. Close to one million Rwandans were butchered systematically during the genocide, and many more lost their lives within six weeks; thus, the genocide was the worst in the world’s history.
The Rwanda genocide was associated with several causes that stirred it, among them media manipulation. It was believed that the media played a critical role in fuelling the genocide. In the film, Hotel Rwanda sets off the things by introducing RTLM dreadful radio broadcasts. The incredibly inflammatory speeches full of hate messages were the reality that was happening in Rwanda’s radio stations daily. The radios explained their hatred for Tutsis by referring to them as cockroaches and declared that Rwanda was a Hutu land. The broadcasters went on to say that the Hutus were the majority while the Tutsis formed the minorities; hence the Tutsis had to die.
The Rwanda genocide was a careful plan by the government to coincide with the eagerly awaited one man, one vote which was a move by South Africans to incorporate all races in national elections. During this period, foreign journalists in Rwanda were represented by only two individuals. All foreign journalists had shifted their attention to South Africa to cover the anticipated end of apartheid in South Africa as Nelson Mandela took over the reins of power.
As a result, the Rwandan government believed that this was the best opportunity to kill Christians of the Tutsi origin without the world knowing about the heinous crimes. For some reason, the strategic timing of the genocide occurred is not mentioned in the film. The film mentions that many foreign journalists were arriving for peacekeeping, but the truth was that only two foreign journalists were present.
The Rwanda genocide was one of the greatest violations of human rights to have been recorded in any part of the world. The US and other powerful countries should have intervened militarily to prevent the mass killings that took place in the country. What happened in Rwanda required international intervention, and this would have reduced the number of people who were killed. Intervention would have been treated as a case of just war aimed at rescuing innocent people who faced death on their faces.
The film depicts how the UN failed to stop the genocide and portrays its actions as racially motivated. As UN troops headed to the hotel, refugees were optimistic that they were to be saved. However, the UN troops announced that they were to pick only foreign nationals, not Rwandans and that they were not to stop the slaughter. The UN and the international community seemed to have intentionally left the genocide to continue.
The key moral in the film is that the UN and powerful countries were not supposed to just watch as Rwanda took the path of self-destruction. The film presents more than one side of the moral. The other side of the moral is that a government should never rise against its own people when it is supposed to protect them.