Last night I had the good fortune to watch “Hotel Rwanda” starring Don Cheadle, about the 1994 civil war between tribes living in Africa. Many things struck me about this movie – the first and foremost being that Rwanda were placed in these “tribes” by Belgium leaders. It would be one thing if the native Africans had their own tribes (a la the Native Americans in this country) – but that outsiders came in and said, “you are Hutu, you are Tutsi” is just abominable.
Secondly, that no one came to the aid of 1,000,000 innocent people that got slaughtered for being in the “wrong” tribe is devastating. What’s worse? No one would/could help the ones being killed. Downright chilling.
Now, in 1994, the year the movie was set, I was in an incredibly selfish time of my life. I remember vaguely hearing about the events in Rwanda, but only in snippets here and there the few times I wasn’t in a club or at a rave. 1994 was the year I was going to clubs three nights a week and a rave every single weekend. There was little time for watching the news much less absorbing the details and really seeing what was going on in the world.
Not that I could have done anything – I was in Virginia and the events were happening in Africa. I can’t help but wonder if I was one of those people who saw the newstory and thought, “Oh my, that’s horrible” and then went back to eating my dinner, as a character in the story says the world would do.
In any case, the movie was heartwrenching and wonderful all at the same time. Don Cheadle was incredibly powerful and obviously deserved his Oscar nomination. Jamie Foxx must have been amazing in “Ray” for Don Cheadle not to have won. He plays Paul Rusesabagina, a 5-star hotel manager used to appeasing everyone he comes into contact with. A Hutu, he saved the lives of over 1,200 people – including his Tutsi wife. A brilliantly good movie and I’m glad I finally got a chance to watch it.
4 bottles of Scotch out of five.
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