By Murray Bourne, 21 Jan 2005
The movie "Hotel Rwanda" was profoundly disturbing.
Having institutionalised the ethnic distinction between Tutsi and Hutu based on skin colour, height, and width of noses, the Belgian colonists in the 1930s gave the minority Tutsi (lighter, taller) greater power and opportunities than the majority Hutu (darker, shorter). Years later, the jealousies boiled over into the genocide of almost a million people in 1994.
And what did the West do? They got their own people out and left the Rwandans to it. You see, there is no oil and no votes in Rwanda, so who cares?
A recommended movie - expect to be moved and challenged...
See the 1 Comment below.
26 Jan 2005 at 6:48 pm [Comment permalink]
It was a disturbing movie but I’m glad they made a movie about it. Otherwise, the world might not have known what had actually happened there then. It’s hard to imagine the Tutsi and Hutu living together like brothers and sisters for so long suddenly turned against the minority race so mindlessly because of a series of unfortunate events, stirred up by some really crazy people at the top realm.
But what I found more disturbing was the fact that the UN Security Council knew exactly what was happening at that time, but decided to turn a deaf ear from the whole incident. And just today, the Straits Times headlined ‘World has not learnt lessons of Holocaust - Mass murders in Cambodia and elsewhere might have been avoided’. First the speakers told the first United Nations (UN) General Assembly session on the Holocaust of World War II that "If the world had learnt from those dark days, it might have prevented mass murders in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia". Then the Secretary-General vowed that the world body would fight anti-Semitism and racism vigorously. Hey, look who’s talking? Do they really mean what they say? When Rwanda slipped into chaos, did countries like USA, Belgian or France care to prevent the genocide? No, they were all leaving in droves because they had no stake in the country. Today, the UN knows that ‘terrible things are happening today in Darfur, Sudan’. What are they going to do about it? My guess is they’ll probably wait for the Anniversary to make another speech and Hollywood will attempt to make a movie about it. Darn!