Movie: Hotel Rwanda

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I was almost afraid to watch this movie because I was afraid to face to the brutality of the genocide in Rwanda. It turns out the movie is fairly gentle with the viewer. This may be a relief, but I don’t think it is entirely a good thing. We are shown a hopeful and heroic part of the story, which is well worth seeing. This is probably our only chance to see a portrayal of what happened in Rwanda, and that makes it an important film. What we are not shown is any insight into the motives of the killers, or more than a hint at the enormity of nearly a million people hacked to death. I am glad to praise the heroism of these survivors and condemn the killers, but no condemnation is of much value without an understanding of what is being condemned. How in the world can such a holocaust come about? How do the perpetrators of it justify their actions to themselves? The movie makes little attempt to answer these questions.

3 responses to “Movie: Hotel Rwanda”

  1. I felt this film was a lost opportunity.

    The massive scale of the killing was not touched upon at all. With something do huge you can’t just have people talk about it – even though it is a harsh thing to see, you have to show it. Without large scale death, there is no real sense of what is at stake in the film. This is where something like Shindler’s List succeeded.

  2. As usual, your review states the case very well.

    I’ve resisted watching Schindler’s List for a long time, but if I’m going to criticize this movie maybe I’d better put it on the queue.

  3. schindler’s list.. another easy oppurtunity to make by preying upon peoples need to be saddened.

    not that there is anything in particular wrong with the film: the acting is superb.

    a lot of the people who survived that camp [who were on the set as consultants] said that the camp commander was so well portrayed that they wound up being uncomfortable around him (seems natural).

    “Holocaust” was a GREAT TV series on, well, the holocaust. i can’t remember if it was based on a real person’s story (like Schindler’s) or “Anne Frank”, but it was good.
    so was “Roots”, if you feel like feeling bad.
    or “Amistad”. there’s some tear jerking scenes in that.

    i dunno, the story of schindler needed to be told, he was an angel in the midst of devils. but all the slobbering over this movie just wreaked of … forget it.

    i haven’t seen this Rwanda movie, but based on your statements, it does sound like a missed oppurtunity. there are so many people out there oblivious to the events there. EVERYONE should be well aware of the facts.
    shoulda put Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock in that. got more folks to see it.

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