Rwanda Essay

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HOTEL RWANDA SUMMARY year: 2004 director: Terry George cast: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix category: History/Drama Overview The decades following Rwanda's independence from Belgium in 1962 saw growing ethnic tensions and periodic violent attacks and reprisals between Rwanda's Hutu majority and its Tutsi minority. Thousands of Tutsis fled into exile in neighboring countries and in 1990 a failed invasion by a Tutsi rebel exile group sparked a civil war that officially ended in August 1993. On April 6, 1994, the Rwandan president, a Hutu, was killed when his plane was shot down over Kigali airport. Hutu politicians blamed Tutsis for the president's death and within hours, loosely organized Hutu militia groups known collectively as the began mobilizing across Rwanda. In a preplanned campaign, these Hutu gangs killed roughly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus over the course of 100 days. And, in full awareness of the situation, the international community did virtually nothing to halt the slaughter. Hotel Rwanda tells the true story of one man's courage in the midst of this genocide. Paul Rusesabagina, a manager at a Belgian-owned luxury hotel in Kigali, Rwanda's capital, is as skilled at pleasing the hotel's (mostly white) guests as he is at currying favor with the Rwandan army officers who frequent the hotel bar and the local businessmen with whom he deals. Paul, a Hutu, is married to a Tutsi and his children are considered mixed. When the mass killings begin, Paul's Tutsi neighbors rush for safety to his house. Reluctantly, Paul takes them in and bribes a Rwandan army officer to allow him to bring them to the hotel. This is only the beginning of the flood of refugees to come to the hotel. In total, the number of Tutsis and moderate Hutus sheltering in the hotel and its grounds would rise to over 1,000. As the violence worsens,

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