Sunday, February 6, 2005

Movie: Hotal Rwanda

It is not that "Hotel Rwanda" is a good movie in the truest sense of what makes a picture something special. The story, if it were fictional, might not hold your attention by itself. Don Cheadle is superb in the lead role of Paul Rusesabagina, and deserves Oscar attention. However, this movie's relevance comes from somewhere else.

What makes "Hotel Rwanda" a film worthy of praise and commendation is its portrayal, almost as a documentary of what took place only ten years ago in Rwanda. The level of genocide at murder was immense and this movie tells that story.

I was appalled to find out that Hutus and Tutsis are not even real in their separation, but simply had these classifications bestowed upon certain members of their population by Europeans. Taller or more "European" blacks were Tutsis. How can there be hatred between two peoples because of a non-existent difference?

The strongest message of "Hotel Rwanda" is the value of a life that it highlights. The western world picks and chooses who matters and who does not. This is not Republican or Democrat, as both sides ignore Africa equally. African countries are of no strategic importance to the West, and blacks, no matter how much is said to the contrary, mean less to those non-blacks in Europe and America.

Our policy toward the world is based upon "what's in it for us."

We turn a blind eye to oppression in Saudi Arabia because of our oil interests. Despite what President Bush says, Iraq meant nothing to us from a humanitarian or democratic perspective. It was all about the oil.

Countries in Africa, and even the pacific southwest don't matter. We say "never again" when we recall the NAZI's brutal murdering of 6 million Jews and countless others, but we really don't believe it. The Khmer Rouge, Rwanda, the Middle East ... the list goes on and on, and always will, unless there is a financial or military interest involved.

That is the message of "Hotel Rwanda" that I took away with me.

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