15 January 2006

hotel rwanda

Rachelle and I watched Hotel Rwanda last night, and I'm re-watching it again as Rachelle interpretted things for me as it went on--she studied conflict, international relations, peace process, the UN, etc, so she knew a lot about what went on in this movie and the entire Rwanda conflict, and our chatting about that and other assorted things prevented me from seeing each and every scene. It was so powerful and upsetting. Paul, a manager of a four-star international hotel, is a Hutu, and shelters his Tutsi wife, children, friends, family, and other refugees in his hotel by bribing the Hutus who wanted to murder the Tutsis. His doing so saves the lives of over 1200 people. It is a powerful and heart-breaking movie, especially as it is TRUE--based on a true storey, true events that happened.

I couldn't sleep at all last night b/c I had the images of the slaughtered people and the killers in my head and I kept waking up and dreaming of them and it was awful. And I feel so privileged with my white skin in my relatively safe NYC apt. One dream I had I was in Rwanda (helping the Tutsis) and I was so nervous I was going to get in trouble and killed by the Hutsis and at the end something bad was abt to happen (I was hiding something) but I woke up. And at one point, this nervous Tutsi woman and her child were sleeping in the same refuge house as me and when I went to sleep she was there and when I woke up she was gone--they had taken her away to be killed. It was so real and so horrid.

But this happened in 1994--I was only 14 years old. I was running track and memorizing lines in school plays and studying school and oh yeah, I heard of Rwanda, but I didn't know what was happening. And I feel guilty for not realizing about this sooner, about this genocide. But I am glad there are movies like this to tell us the true story. And you hear about Tom Cruise and bullshit movies and I think, "Damn, I am glad there are real movies being made." Even if it hurts, the truth needs to be told.

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