In just one hundred days, almost one million people were murdered in the genocide rampage that swept through Rwanda, Africa in 1994. Hotel Rwanda, a film directed by Terry George in 2004, is a story based on the tragedy that occurred ten years prior. The massacre is a result of the Hutu tribe??™s prejudice and discrimination of the Tutsi tribe and the world??™s lack of intervention. George??™s depiction of the event is less about the massacre itself though because of his choice to portray it from the view of Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu hotel manager married to a Tutsi woman.
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Mass media hasn??™t always been the way it is today. Movies are now one of the most popular forms of entertainment and one of the most efficient ways of sending a message. Terry George had that in mind when Hotel Rwanda was produced. In 1994, the murder occurring in Africa might not have gained the news coverage it should in America, and the coverage it did have might not have contained the whole truth. The message behind George??™s film is just that ??“ the truth of what happened in Africa. Hate and a superior complex got the best of the Hutu tribe, and with no one to stop them, they began to wipe out the Tutsi population.
Of course not every Hutu was as evil as the rest. America may not have been affected by the uproar across the ocean, but Paul Rusesabagina was. Terry George spreads his message of truth by retelling the event with Paul??™s story. Paul had a family with his Tutsi wife, Tatiana. He was not going to listen to the demeaning remarks of the Tutsi??™s as ???cockroaches??? or let himself be swept away by their degrading actions, although he was skeptical at first to offer his help for fear losing his job. Paul is the manager of the elegant hotel in Rwanda, Hotel Des Milles Collines, which is turned in a sort of refugee camp for over one thousand Tutsi??™s. Through many connections he made through his job, Paul narrowly saves the people from death more than once by calling upon favors from various influential people when other countries, including America, and the United Nations fail to be much help. When Paul accidentally is able to view some footage a media crew captured in the streets of Rwanda of Hutu??™s hacking away at numerous Tutsi??™s, Paul clings to what belief he has in the rest of the world. He assumes that when the world sees what horrifying acts are happening, they will feel compelled to act. The man who filmed the scene pushes Paul into the realization that no one is going to help. He says to Paul, ???If people see this footage, theyll say, Oh my God, thats terrible, and theyll go on eating their dinners.??? Scared but still not completely hopeless, Paul even tries to reason with one of the leaders of the murders, a businessman that sells Paul some of his supplies. He tries to question the man of the outrageous idea that the Hutu??™s can really wipe out every Tutsi. Unfortunately, the man is too caught up in his prejudice and replies, ???Why not We??™re already halfway there.???
If America showed no interest in the genocide occurring before, why would Terry George decide to make his film George wanted to get people thinking and provoke their emotions. He wanted people to see the devastation the country, the families, and the children endured during the genocide they virtually allowed to happen. By witnessing the bloodshed, maybe the audience would think about how things could have been different if America had intervened. The audience would also realize how other countries should be able to count on America in their time of need like America might one day need to count on others. The emotions he wanted to bring out in people were remorse for those hurt directly and indirectly and even guilt as they saw how the people in Paul??™s hotel were let down when they found out no one was going to help them. Since the story wasn??™t properly covered before in the media, George was making up for that now with his film. Even if America didn??™t care, George was not going to let the people forget this event.
The real story of the tragedy sparks enough from the audience to gain their interest at first, but Terry George has other ways of keeping the attention of an American audience on an event that happened long ago and far away. George??™s film doesn??™t skip over any of the gruesome details. None of the tears or fighting and bloodshed are skipped. The emotions of the people in Africa, terrified, hopeless, and distraught, are also portrayed in the film without censoring.
Terry George is also able to keep the American audience??™s attention with his choice of telling the story from Paul??™s point of view. Instead of letting them see the events from a strictly objective and factual point of view, they see how the destruction affected a real person. Paul??™s willingness to help others and sacrifice himself to keep his family safe brought out sympathy the audience didn??™t feel before.
Hotel Rwanda is a movie not meant to just entertain. Terry George shed light on the audiences of the real events that occurred. He was able to get people to react in a way they failed to when they should have. George also kept the attention of America by not covering up any of the details of the tragedy in Africa many may have forgotten.