Over the weekend, I decided to take some time off for myself to catch the film, Hotel Rwanda. It’s been showing for a couple of weeks already and I have wanted to catch it since but did not till now. It’s due partly to the movie’s lack of publicity compared to blockbusters like Constantine. Which was why I saw Constantine before Hotel Rwanda even though the latter screened first.

I have always been a fan of films with historical significance. Hotel Rwanda made it to Christianity Today’s 10 most redeeming films of 2004. So this is definitely a film I don’t want to miss.

And I am not one bit disappointed.

It reminded me a lot of Schindler’s List. You can call it an African version of the German hero. It’s a film that leaves you changed. By the time the film ended, I was in a daze, trying to comprehend the evil monstrosity that have occurred within the past 10 years of our history. 10 years is a short time to have history repeats itself ! Have humanity not learned anything? Apparently not. One moment of sobering reality of the hardness of man’s heart was when hero, Paul Rusesabagina, thanked a western photojournalist for showing the footage of the massacre to the world. He thought it would move people into action. The journalist responded saying, the western world would just exclaimed what a horrible thing it is and continue eating their dinner. And that was exactly what happened. All intervention was pulled out and the Rwandan’s were left to fend for themselves.

The thought that the heart of man can be so filled with hatred to the point of committing such genocide, leaves us dejected. Is there no hope for humanity? Are we so depraved that the only possible ending for us is self-destruction? When we witness such atrocity, we couldn’t help but feel hopeless.

Yet…

Yet…. in almost every episode of violence, a hero emerged. In this case, it’s Paul Rusesabagina, a manager at the Hotel des Mille Collines in the Rwanda capital of Kigali. His courage and compassion saved more than 1200 lives including his own family, turning the hotel into a 4-star refugee camp. There were also heros like the Red Cross worker, the priest and nuns who helped transport the children into Paul’s hotel. The sympathetic journalists and UN peacekeepers who were obviously ashamed by their countries heartless apathy. It gives us a glimmer of hope, that man is also capable of selflessness, compassion and heroism in the face of tragedy.

It is a story that needs to be told. This is an important film. A film that cries out for action. It’s a 5/5.

Evil reigns when good man remains silent.

Click here for a full review by Christianity Today.

I’ve also included PBS’s The Truimph of Evil and The History Place’s Genocide In The 20th Century if you want to know more about the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

rk

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