Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Hotel Rwanda and what happens now.

So I know that I got all heavy last week with the Alex Lowe stuff, but that’s not really going to change this week. I went and saw “Hotel Rwanda” last night with one of my friends from work, Dancer. She and I had both been talking about it and realized that no one else would probably go see it with us. Nor would we want to, as I discovered while watching the movie.

It’s an amazing piece of film. The acting is breathtaking, the story itself is shocking, and it’s a brutal experience. However, it’s necessarily brutal. Dancer and I both cried through quite a bit of the movie, as it is incomprehensible how humans can do these things to one another. The cinematography and the sets are absolutely stunning and it truly is visually arresting. Don Cheadle, yet another actor I would watch if he was reading the phone book, has this amazing ability to make you forget that he’s ever been in another movie. His character, Paul Rusesabagina, is the central point around whom the movie pivots. Everyone in this movie is like that. It almost feels like a documentary. It’s more interesting. It’s engaging, absorbing and completely visceral.

I’m adding some websites to the sidebar, because Dancer and I were discussing afterwards how it’s great that these movies get made, but the problem is that they get made a decade too late. We need to be focussing on issues that are going on right now, that we can affect right now. We discussed the situation in the Sudan, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in Chechnya. There is unrest and bloodshed all over the world right now and the victims are being ignored. There’s an incredibly powerful line in the middle of “Hotel Rwanda” when Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle’s character) finally understands that no one is coming for them. He instructs everyone who is staying at the Hotel des Mille Collines that they need to get on the phone and contact their powerful friends—anyone they can think of. Once they get them, they must explain the situation and essentially say goodbye, but to do so in such a way that it is as if they are reaching through the phone and offering their hand and if the person on the other end doesn’t grab that hand, the Rwandan will die. It’s a sobering and frightening moment.

Dancer made a good point though. What about the people who couldn’t get to the hotel? What about those who don’t have powerful friends?

Nearly 1,000,000 people died in Rwanda in 100 days. The violence finally ended in July, 1994.

Quote of the Day: There isn't one. I can't find an appropriate one.

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