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Forum » Additional Suggested Movies » Unit 4 » Hotel Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda
LunowDate: Friday, 2011-06-24, 8:06 AM | Message # 1
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Hotel Rwanda

Amid the holocaust of internecine tribal fighting in Rwanda that sees the savage butchering of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, one ordinary hotel manager (Oscar nominee Don Cheadle) musters the courage to save more than 1,000 helpless refugees. Sophie Okonedo, Nick Nolte and Joaquin Phoenix co-star in this powerful film -- often described as an African Schindler's List -- directed by Terry George. - from Netflix

If you have not yet seen this movie, do so as soon as you can. If you have seen it before, you should watch it again! This movie illustrates many of the themes that we will study this year in Human Geography. The movie focuses on the ethnic conflict between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnicities in the country of Rwanda that resulted from the legacy of European imperialism of the 18th and 19th centuries. In addition to the concept of ethnic cleansing, this movie also touches on refugees and shows the role that supranational organizations such as the United Nations and Red Cross play in conflicts around the world.

The most troubling aspect of this movie is that while the worst of the violence occurred over a three month period in 1994 (about a million people were slaughtered), millions of refugees poured across the border into the neighboring country of the Congo. Along with the refugees went groups of militias. The eastern part of the Congo has become a wasteland controlled by various warlords. The United Nations estimates that an additional five million people have died in the Congo due to this violence. So, while we like to think that the story of Hotel Rwanda ended when the movie ended, it did not. Paul (and his family) fled to Belgium. Millions were not so lucky, and are still living a terrifying existence in the Congo.

For those of you moved by this story, you could do more research into conditions in the Congo today. You will be surprised how much of what we consume comes from the Congo, and will find yourself wondering how globalization ties us all into the misery there.
 
XxtonyleexXDate: Saturday, 2015-04-04, 9:58 AM | Message # 2
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Tony Lee - 5th Period

    This would be my second time watching this movie and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time. As you said in the description, this movie is a perfect example of ethnic cleansing. The Hutus are trying to exterminate every single Tutsi out there, but luckily Paul, the hotel manager, is kind enough to shelter tons of people in his hotel. The UN and the Red Cross organization did all they can but they weren't allowed to interfere anymore. So it was all up to Paul. Everyone that Paul sheltered was considered a refugee. They all were pushed from their homes looking for shelter. The scene where Paul drove out to get supplies gets me every time. Everyone slaughtered and dead. There has to be at least a thousand bodies there  cry . I would greatly recommend this movie to everyone out there. What people would do to each other during times of crisis can be really surprising...
 
tangb11Date: Tuesday, 2015-04-07, 10:58 AM | Message # 3
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Bryan Tang- period 4

Dramatic, heartfelt, and touching are some words that can describe this movie. This is about the ethnic conflict and genocide between the Hutus and Tutsi. The most intriguing part about this movie was the heroic actions and unselfishness of Paul, the hotel manager. He finds a way to solve everything, even if it may cause harm to him and is a risk. He houses many Tutsis in his hotel and plays it off as it were a normal hotel. This movie shows plenty of gruesome deaths, so those who have weak stomachs, close your eyes for a few parts of the movie. Hopefully with people informed about genocides and the horrors of it, future genocides can be prevented.

This really shows the both sides of humanity, the good and the evil. As a former student of Mr. Primeaux, this was not my first time watching this movie, but it has still moved me the sam way. This is one of my favorites and I give it a 4.5/5 stars.
 
elainele1999Date: Sunday, 2015-04-12, 11:47 PM | Message # 4
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I call dibs for 6th period~ pls dont take it T~T

Added (2015-04-12, 11:47 PM)
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Elaine Le -Period 6
Hotel Rwanda portrays a strong example of ethnic cleansing between the Hutus and Tutsis in the country of Rwanda. This resulted from the imperialism left by the Europeans. In three months, millions of people were killed during a genocide occurring in Rwanda. A hotel manager named Paul helped thousands of refugees by granting them shelter in his hotel. The love for his family and people, he was willing to put his life at risk to save the refugees from the massacre. Several supranational organizations including the United Nation and the American Red Cross played an important role during this conflict. They were only allowed to interfere between conflicts to negotiate peace. It was all up to Paul to protect each and everyone of them from the dangers outside of his hotel. 

Due to his heroic actions, this movie turned out to be incredible. This movie truly touched my heart. I rate this movie 4.5/5.

 
HaDate: Monday, 2015-04-13, 2:15 PM | Message # 5
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Ha Nguyen - 6th Period
“Hotel Rwanda” brings to life many of the topics we are studying in AP Human Geography and in many of our other previous history classes as well. As students in the twenty first century, the concept of Imperialism often seem far-fetched to many of us, and I bet half of the students sitting in class probably often wonder why in the world we are wasting time studying something that happened hundreds of years ago. And “Hotel Rwanda” gives us the most touching, heart-wrenching, and relevant reason we can ask for. The movie’s portrayal of the conflict was brutally honest, serving us up all the facts and stories around the world that we have neglected from the warm comfort of our American home and lifestyle. This was the result of Imperialism, and the fact that it is still happening today makes what we are studying worthwhile. Watching the conflict between the Hutu and the Tutsi as well as all the casualties that resulted from it brought tears to my eyes. The fact that this movie was also based on a true story made it that even more heartbreaking yet painfully relatable. This movie showcased the very best and worst of humankind. It filled us both with despair and hope, sadness and inspiration. Throughout the entire movie, I always struggled to believe that any of this could be possibly be real, or based on real events. It was one thing to read about genocides in books and stories, but it was another thing to witness it altogether. I couldn’t believe that men could ever have the capability of doing such horrible deeds toward one another. Yet amidst this void of evil, it fills me with hope that there are people like Paul who exist in this world. His constant efforts to do whatever it takes to protect his family and the refugees were absolutely admirable. (This may be a bit irrelevant to AP HUG, but Paul’s story in Hotel Rwanda reminds me of one of the topics I’m currently studying in my English class as well, that we cannot judge a man by his actions, but rather by his motives. In our society, most of us would consider bribing almost blackmailing a morally wrong thing to do. However, given Paul’s motives, his actions were completely justified.) I have always been very engrossed in issues around the world, and seeing this movie had further deepened my interests. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire movie, and my heart went out to every character. This movie was incredibly touching, the storyline was truly captivating, and I can really find nothing wrong with it. It’s definitely a 9 or 10 out of 10 for me.


Message edited by Ha - Monday, 2015-04-13, 2:16 PM
 
amandanguyen9449Date: Friday, 2016-04-08, 5:46 PM | Message # 6
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Amanda Nguyen
Period 3
April 08, 2016


Hotel Rwanda portrays the sheer brutality of the time, as well as the courage and heroism of people, especially of Paul Rusesabagina, in saving Tutsis and moderate Hutus from being massacred by the Hutu militias.

For the rare few who don't know, Rwanda is where nearly one million members of the Tutsi tribe were brutally slaughtered by members of the Hutu tribe who referred to the Tutsis as "cockroaches." Cheadle portrays Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu hotel manager who uses his negotiation skills and international contacts (which he painfully learns are limited) to shelter and protect as many Tutsis as he can, including his wife and children. The main focus is on Rusesabagina and his efforts to save lives but the references to the slaughter on the outside are still more than enough to get a sense of the horrific atrocities taking place and it's still very powerful. During and after the movie, I kept shaking my head wondering how anyone could hate another human being to the point of committing such a thing without any remorse whatsoever. It's so much worse when it not based on anything any particular person did but when it's based on things such as race, color, ethnicity, religion or other incidental things. It's the same question I had about slavery, the Nazi Holocaust, Jim Crow and other well known crimes against humanity when I was a child and still have about the 911 attacks, "ethnic cleansing" in Eastern Europe, the current slaughter in the Sudan (which will equal Rwanda if not checked) and other similar incidents.

This film was also intertwined with some of the main themes of AP Hug. In the film, there is discrimination and segregation; the Tutsis were not accepted due to the discrimination against their difference in skin color, height, social class, and other defining characteristics. Throughout the film I noticed an abundance of different material and non-material cultural traditions being practiced. For example, the Tutsi women danced and sang to tribal music, wore scarves on their head while collecting water, and Hutu men wore unique clothing that resembled who they were and what they believed in. The Hutus displayed a great deal of hatred toward the Tutsis which turned into a mass slaughter (genocide and ethnic cleansing) known as genocide. They killed over a million Tutsis after the war. During the movie, the ethnic dispute between the Hutus and the Tutsis acted as a centrifugal force because it created war amongst the two cultural groups, and pulled them apart.

One of the things that shines through the horror is the love Rusesibagina has for his wife. Hotel Rwanda is not for the faint-hearted--there are some pretty gruesome scenes. But it is worth seeing--a sobering reminder that this scenario has been repeated countless times and will be, and that humankind does not seem to have learned much from the Holocaust.

All in all, think this is a movie that everyone should see and think about, especially with mature young people who need to know what happened not so long ago. Then we need to think about what is going on right now in the Sudan and write our representatives about what we think should be done to help end that horror. After all, that is really the point of this movie. We can stay uninvolved because it happens so far away, but it sparks our conscience to ask us if we should.

Rate: 10 out of 10


Message edited by amandanguyen9449 - Friday, 2016-04-08, 6:13 PM
 
christinele1956Date: Sunday, 2016-04-17, 5:08 PM | Message # 7
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christine le
period 2
    In the movie Hotel Rwanda, it is about genocide between the tutsis and the hutus. Hutus hate tutsis because the tutsis were collaborators for the belgian colonists. This was a result of Belgian imperialism. Hutus claimed that the tutsis stole their land. Tutsis generally have lighter skin, thinner noses, and are taller Belgians divided the people. Although the president agreed to peace, he was murdered by the tutsi rebels. After he was murdered, all hell broke loose. During this time, only the whites were evacuated and helped by the UN. The UN were not allowed to shoot and were only there to maintain peace.Paul was a hotel manager. Throughout the movie, he displayed great bravery. He saved many tutsis from death and even stayed behind to help everyone, although he was given a visa to go to Belgium. The most memorable moment from this movie  was when Paul and gregor were driving back from getting supplies and suddely the road got bumpy. Paul got out of the car and to his horror, the road was filled with bodies. 1 million people died during this genocide. Paul and everyone at the hotel ended up crossing the border with the help from the UN into tanzania as refugees. The genocide finally ended in 1994 when the tutsi rebels drove out the hutu army and the intergamwe militia across the border into the Congo.
    I give this movie a 10/10. It showed the how brave a person can be and all that they'd give to save their family. My favorite character of this movie, was Don cheadle (Paul the hotel manager). He saved countless lives through his heroic and selfless actions. An example of one of them would be when he bribed the hutus into letting everyone live with money that he stole. He only had enough to save his family, but he pleaded with the hutus to save everyone.  The actors and actresses played the roles very well. This is a very informative movie that educates people about what happened in our world.


Message edited by christinele1956 - Sunday, 2016-04-17, 8:04 PM
 
19anguyen7Date: Saturday, 2017-12-23, 7:55 PM | Message # 8
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Alicia Nguyen
Period 1
12/23/17

The movie, Hotel Rwanda, brings the text from the AP Human Geography alive. When we read the book, we are given adjectives such as murder, genocide, and violence but watching the movie brings it alive. 

It is really an amazing movie! I expected it to be boring because it was related to school but as I kept watching it, the movie was even more intriguing. While watching it, I felt anxious and scared, reflecting the character's feelings.

In the beginning, a character explains to the viewers of the events and background of Rwanda so they wouldn't be lost. It helps the viewers a bigger understanding before the scenes unfold. Paul have heard on the radio of the genocide happening but ignored it. It wasn't until he saw his neighbor got beat up and he realized the violence. Paul represents society. Even though he witnessed a first hand experience of the violence, he turns his back to the event but it still irks him. Most of the western society like us, only see the news and videos yet we feel powerless. The UN and Red Cross comes to help the Tutsi refugees but soon the UN army decides to pull out of the battles. Despite being a Hutu, Paul's family was not safe as he was the only one that was a Hutu. His wife, children, and in laws were caught by their passport or ID that classifies them as a Tutsi. He manages to save them by paying a Hutu general with over $10,000. Despite being a Hutu, Paul also faces discrimination from a UN general for being black. 
Paul manages to save the refugees living in his hotel by contacting the foreign hotel owner.  

The ending was great since it led to a happy ending for Paul and his wife. They found their children with the help of a Red Cross volunteer. The movie reveals the dramatic genocide in Rwanda and really inspires the viewers to want to do something to help and spread word of the genocide. It shows how one person can save so over 1,000 lives by offering help and really did his best to save them. The movie also reveals the horrors the tutsi faces such as massacres and ruthless killing. I hope this movie went big and inspired the viewers to spread word or influence to become part of the UN to try and stop events of genocide to occur.
 
21csterlingDate: Saturday, 2018-01-06, 6:13 PM | Message # 9
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Christopher Sterling
Period 3
    The movie, Hotel Rwanda, directed by Terry George brings light to the very real yet almost forgotten genocide in Africa. It shows the Hutus attempting to kill the Tutsis, and an accidental hero, who does whatever he can to save as many people as he can from death. 
    The movie has many moments where you will be on the edge of your seat and that is what kept me watching, waiting to see what would happen next. It executes what is happening perfectly and shows the people what is happening in Africa. When the news reporter says to Paul, "...the people will look at this and say how horrible it is, and continue eating their dinner" I got a slap of reality and it made me think about how sometimes people don't do anything to help, and then I continued to eat my dinner because what he says is true. I also saw how Paul stole, bribed, blackmailed, and even begged to save all the people he saved, and it really shows how some people are willing to give everything up to help others. I really enjoyed it and recommend others to watch it. Rate it a 9/10.
    The movie displays many topics that we have discussed in the classroom, such as genocide, refugees, and conflicts in Africa. It shows Tutsi refugees escaping from the Hutus in an attempt to survive the genocide, and it focuses on one of the many conflicts in Africa.
 
21epham2Date: Sunday, 2018-01-07, 5:06 PM | Message # 10
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Emily Pham
Period 3
    Hotel Rwanda is an unforgettable movie that sheds light on an overlooked genocide in Africa. In short, the movie reveals the horrible truths about the conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis as a result of the imperialism of the Europeans. Paul, the protagonist of the movie, harbored Tutsi refugees and saved them.The movie depicted the sheer brutality the people, Tutsis especially, endured. The part that struck me most was when Paul saw all the Tutsis caged, stripped, and terrorized. It made me realize that for those people, it was their reality.
    My favorite character would have to be Paul. He was willing to sacrifice everything for his family and for many other Tutsis. 
    For those who have not yet seen this movie, I highly recommend you do so. It is a movie which will impact your life and create gratitude toward your life today. I would rate this movie 4/5.
    This movie also relates to things we learned in AP HUG this year such as refugee, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.
 
kle71408Date: Sunday, 2018-01-07, 6:02 PM | Message # 11
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Kenny Le
Period 4


    The movie Hotel Rwanda give the audience a more effective message of what a genocide is truly like. When reading textbooks, we would also look at the statistic of things such as deaths and learn the political reasons behind these mass murders, but we would never truly feel what is personally like to be stuck in one. The movie shows our ignorance and understanding of all the bad things that are happening outside of the US. An example of this is when Jack told Paul, “I think if people see this footage, they'll say Oh, my God, that's horrible. And then they'll go on eating their dinners.”  Unlike those heavy, boring textbooks, Hotel Rwanda brings out the reality of being stuck in the Rwandan genocide through the eyes of a Paul Rusesabagina by dropping down harsh cold facts through the heart-racing blood and guns of the movie. Paul Rusesabagina, the manager of Hôtel des Mille Collines and identity as a Hutu, leads a good life with his Tutsi wife until the assassination of the Hutu Rwandan president, Juvénal Habyarimana. This was the final cut that broke the string of tension between the Hutu and Tutsi. Now with civil war starting, it is hard enough to keep his family safe, especially his wife since she was a Tutsi, but he has to manage the hundreds of refugee who fled to his hotel. There they were protected by the UN. This is one of the parts that are less known to the rest of world. People would think the UN is very effective when it comes to their peacekeeping corp. This is a good example of it not being the case as the UN evacuated all members outside of Rwanda. Now Paul has to bribe the Rwandan army for protection from the Hutu rebels in return for alcohol and goods while at the same time, keeping the refugees safe in the hotel. At the beginning, it seems as if the UN are jerks for abandoning their duty, but the movie made sure that they are good people at the end of the day who have to handle too many problems. To illustrate, later in the movie, the UN launched two convoys (with the first one being unsuccessful) to get the Tutsi refugees outside of Rwanda since the hotel they stayed in could no longer support them. 
    In my opinion, I give this movie a 9/10. It was excellence considering how effective it was to bring out all of the messages about the genocide to its audiences by making it through the suspense, emotional, and action-packed bits of the movie. The acting was good, with the actors heavily emphasizing the emotion of fear. Even though it is labeled as Drama/History, I encourage many others to watch this movie because it is more than it seems to be on the outside. I gave this movie a 9/10 instead of a 10/10 because I believe it revolves around Paul’s personal life a little too much. It brings out emotions, but it was useless to what was actually going on in the movie. 
    This movie reflects a lot of what we have been learning in Human Geography. For example, it shows the effect of colonization and ethnic discrimination. Rwanda is scarred by Belgium when it was still a Belgian colony. During that time, it was ruled by the Tutsi, who was very discriminated toward the Hutus even though they are smaller in number. After Rwanda gained their independence, Hutu had more power, but they are now hostile toward the Tutsi This was a very important factor to why the genocide happened. It shows how political problems arose when a state gain their independence. This is very similar to the situation between Pakistan and India, but they were able to solve their problem while Rwanda did not. Another thing that the movie reflects on is the act of ethnic cleansing. It shows the reality of genocide. Innocents are murdered because of their ethnicity by other people who are blinded by their prejudice.
 
21hnguyen11Date: Sunday, 2018-04-08, 8:05 AM | Message # 12
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Vincent Nguyen
P1
    Hotel Rwanda displays many topics we discuss and study in ap human geography such as genocide and ethnic cleansing, it shows the true horrors of what ethnic cleansing truly looks like and how unimaginable and unforgettable it is. The AP Human Geography book only describes the subjects but Hotel Rwanda directed by Terry George paints the picture. It shows the hutu military killing all of the tutsi minority as the U.N leaves the hotel manager paul struggles to save all of the refugees from genocide. The movie will keep you on your toes as you watch Paul see things that will change how he views refugees and will change your point of view too.  If you havent seen the movie yet, you should see it, it really puts things into perspective. I give it a 7.5/10 My favorite part is when they find their children at the refugee camp after they got displaced because it was one the only happy moments in the movie. The saddest part would be when the little girl at the orphanage promised she wouldn't be Tutsi anymore just so she can survive. This was sad for many reasons such as the hutu people not accepting her for who she is and killing her just because she is a tutsi.
 
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