After watching “Hotel Rwanda”, it is safe to say that this film is mostly historically accurate and portrays many of the events and feelings, however there are some instances where there are inaccuracies. But the fact that this film was based on the true story of Paul Rusesabagina trying to save himself and his family from genocide of Tutsis, makes it highly authentic, as we are looking through his perspective. The ways to stay alive were small, but the tactics that usually worked were by using bribery in various forms such as liquor and money, while the connections you had with influential people were likewise important. Historically speaking, there wasn’t an easy way out of things such as running away and escaping, which usually resulted in life or death.
In most of the history of the Rwandan Genocide, the Hutus hatred was awfully strong towards the Tutsis, which can be seen when Rusesabagina arrived in an area filled with hundreds of dead Tutsi corpses covered in blood. The Hutus invasions of homes, abusive ways, and typically using machetes to kill the Tutsis surely scared many, and even caused people to want to commit suicide instead of being tortured. Therefore, the emotion portrayed in the film was genuine to the actual event, because as people were losing their brothers and sisters, they grew anxious and began to wonder when they would die next. The cruel treatment they had ranged from name-calling the Tutsis “cockroaches” to making people watch others being killed, resulting in feelings of worthlessness and everyone being traumatized.
Furthermore, the United Nations were supposed to help prevent the outbreak of a Rwandan Genocide but unfortunately failed, and this is reflected in the film itself as an important event because the Tutsi’s were relying on protection from the UN, but unfortunately ended up under attack. Also, the hotel “Milles Collines” where over 1,200 Tutsi’s were housed by Paul, truly existed during the actual event and was a safe place for the Tutsi’s to hide until the Hutu’s discovered them.
Although, there are some historical inaccuracies in the film such as how Mr. Rusesabagina was always a kind man and was constantly being a good provider to those who stayed with him in the hotel. But the survivors of the genocide claim how there would be instances of exploitation and cheating them of their money, making him take “advantage” of the situation.
Also, a very important misconception in this film is how the violence was only targeted towards Tutsi people. During the Rwandan Genocide, the people living in Rwanda weren’t safe regardless of their background because the brutality the Hutus had were also against their own kind, such as when they found out Rusesabagina was giving shelter to both Tutsi and Hutu refugees.
Overall, the film “Hotel Rwanda” did an excellent job of portraying the powerful emotion and the events that took place in the Rwandan Genocide, which helps us accurately see the horrible torture they had to go through. Even though some important events and aspects were disregarded such as the violence being only directed to Tutsi’s, it provides a good history on the Genocide and how Paul Rusesabagina protected the refugees.
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