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Discrimination of all types is an issue. Before the movie Hotel Rwanda, Terry George’s film, was released, many acted as if genocide was taboo. This movie helped raise awareness to the Rwandan Genocide, which many refer to as a “Modern-day Holocaust.” Hotel Rwanda was very effective in showing that genocide was a big issue by not only relating well to accurate historical events, but also communicating the differences between Hutus and Tutsis, and showing how poorly the soldiers treated people. It was effective because it was very realistic and showed people accurately what was occurring.
The movie stayed true to historical events, which helps watchers understand the real event even more. All people had cards that classified them as Tutsi or Hutu, and Tutsi people were referred to “cockroaches.” The movie portrayed all the true events excellently. For example, the soldiers finding the proof of Tutsi people in Paul’s van, and all of the dead bodies on the streets. When a treaty is trying to be made, rebels shoot the president, which causes even more of a riot than what was already happening. Not only does the movie display discrimination between the two groups, but also racism between African Americans and Europeans. The soldier who tells Paul he does not matter because he is black is a good example, and proves further how well the filmmaker is making his point. Another scene that displays this racism is the scene in which all of the Europeans and Caucasians get to evacuate the country, leaving everyone else to die. A specific moment that stuck out is when an African American person is holding the umbrella for a Caucasian man and escorting him out of the hotel to escape. The white man says “I am so ashamed.” This is a pivotal moment in the movie because while all the others are rushing to the buses to escape, it shows that some do truly care about the horror going on in the country. The filmmaker did a great job directing the film to accurately depict the true historical events that took place during the Rwandan genocide.
The difference between the Hutu and Tutsi people is overly stressed in the film, and is clearly the biggest issue in Rwanda. But, can some even tell the difference? One particular scene that outlines this point is the men speaking at the bar. One asks what the difference really is between the two. They claim that Belgians created the division, and that Tutsi people are taller and more elegant. Paul says that is “unfortunately” the truth. When the man tries to flirt with the girls, and asks who is Tutsi and who is Hutu, he claims they could be twins and you cannot tell them apart. The filmmaker does a nice job first explaining how the Belgians made the separation between the two, yet also shows that it truly does not matter, because in the end, most people can not tell the difference.
Genocides are not pretty. The movie shows the gory and bloody truth of what really occurred during the genocide. Dead bodies on streets, people being taken from their homes, and all of these events truly happened and were portrayed in the film as well. Soldiers were not nice to the people of this country, as shown in the scene where they pour beer on refugees. The film portrays all the true, good, and bad things that happened in this time.
Overall, the film did a great job of proving all of its points, and the filmmaker portrayed the Rwandan Genocide truly by following the historical timeline, showing the Hutu and Tutsi differences and similarities, and showing the good, bad, and ugly of the genocide.
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