How do you face the impossible? We live in a place that gives us endless opportunities, yet it’s never enough for us. In this day and age, we are in the middle of an economic crunch where the richer are getting richer and the poor are becoming poorer. Life is becoming harder for the middle class. The once idealistic image of the American dream is not dead, but possible becoming repainted. As we change, as Americans do we try to bring back to the way it was before, or do we find a new direction? Now that we have our president for another four years, I’m ready to face whatever were heading to. I wish Obama the best.
Political change can be devastating, especially in a place where the tides of power can turn over all because of the fire of a gun. In 1994, Rwanda faced a terrible genocide when the Hutu and Tutsi people erupted in a civil war. The Hutu killed over twenty percent of the country just to prove that they were to be feared. Though it seemed like a terrible situation, Paul Rusesabagina used the hotel that he managed as a refugee sanctuary and saved over a thousand lives. This is the story that is brilliantly depicted in Hotel Rwanda.
At the brink of Hutu and Tutsi tension, Paul Rusesabagina (played by Don Cheadle) is a manager at the Hotel des Mille Collines, a Belgium owned four star resort. He has created anger in his community as he is Hutu, but his wife Tatiana is Tutsi. Despite having thoughts that the political conflicts will settle itself, things become more dangerous and the Hutu are starting to resort to violence. When the war starts, Paul negotiates for the release of his family and the neighbors, and retreat back to the hotel.
With guns going off outside, Paul was committed to keeping his friends and family safe, while maintain the image of a classy hotel. The next days brings in more Rwandans seeking shelter from the violence, not to mention most of the UN Peacekeeping forces, led by Colonel Oliver (played by Nick Nolte). Things turn bad to worse as the foreign nationals (mostly white) are evacuated, but the Rwandans are left behind. Paul becomes committed to make sure that all of his staff continue working to serve the guests and that the guests get all the food, water, and comfort they need.
Hotel Rwanda still remains a very influential movie. Like Schindler’s List, this man goes out of the way to make the impossible possible. He cares for every soul in his hotel and makes sure that they are alive and well, while using bribes and friends to keep the Hutu forces out of bounds. Don Cheadle is a powerhouse playing that man who looks like he want’s to give up in any moment, but pulls through the strongest of forces. This man was able to save many lives without the use of weapons. Hotel Rwanda shows that having the power of ambition and the right tools are more power full then all the guns of genocide.
I’ll give this five French francs out of five. Though it’s not a pleasant film, this film shows a great sense of humanitarian within the struggle of the worst tides. Hotel Rwanda reminds us why we have to maintain our dignity under the biggest of political changes.