The Power That Moves People
BY LORRA GILBERT, QUEEN CREEK, AZ, USA - Just recently, my husband and I sat down to watch the film HOTEL RWANDA. There were many things that touched me as I watched this film. First was that the whole thing was based on the true and very real story of the horrifying genocide and injustice that took place in Rwanda, Africa in 1994. The extreme hatred between two groups (Hutus and Tutsis) was astonishing. Yet, even more astonishing - the similarities between the two. The only way to determine who belonged to which group was to look past the person to their identification papers...if your papers said you were Tutsi, you were considered “trash” and were killed. The Hutu extremists thought that they could completely exterminate all Tutsis which, in the end (after about 100 days), brought about the death of nearly 1 million people. As disturbing as this scene was, the filmmakers were very successful in their goal to reach a wide audience by focusing on the story rather than the overwhelming horror of the genocide itself.
The second thing that disturbed me was the lack of help that the Tutsis received from other countries. These were completely inhumane atrocities and no one felt that they should step in to help stop it. Not Belgium, not France, not the United States... no one came to their aid. I was also ashamed to realize that this happened just 12 years ago (which was the year I graduated from High School) and, despite the news coverage, I knew nothing about it prior to watching this film. It speaks to just how ignorant and spoiled many Americans are and the importance of films like this one and the upcoming film, BAD T!MING, to reach people and bring more awareness to the world.
The third thing that moved me was the good that just one person can do. As the assistant manager of the Hotel Milles Collines, Paul Rusesabagina was able to save 1268 people from being killed several times through countless efforts. He had an amazing ability to reach people on a deeper level.
One person can make a difference. Jabbes Mvula will make a difference and will bring hope to Africa through his countless efforts and his ability to reach out to people. Films can be very powerful and have a great effect on all those who view them. I am grateful for motivated people that strive to educate and change people's lives through film – the power that moves people.