This movie has a lot to say and for the most part it does a good job of getting its point across.
It’s not an easy movie to watch. It demonstrates how hatred manifests between countrymen who have little reason to hate each other other than a history that can be blamed on poor Belgian rule.
The movie focuses on the genocide that began in Rwanda in April, 1994. Over 100 days one million people were mercilessly killed.
Years ago, Europeans arrived in Africa and decided that the Rwandan Tutsis would rule over the Hutus. They made this determination based on factors as slight as the size of one person’s nose over the other. When the Belgians finally liberated the Hutus after many years of repression and persecution, the Hutus revolted and decided that true Rwandas were pure of Hutu blood.
The characters in this movie are of course greatly conflicted: One is a Hutu radio spokesperson and instigator of much violence. His brother, a Hutu officer, is married to a Tutsi woman and now has Tutsi family. What happens between them is devastating and heartwrenching.
Side story lines include the U.S. military’s lack of involvement, the media’s lack of interest in anything other than the 250 Americans stranded in Rwanda when the fighting begun, and how mildly the legal system eventually responded to the problem.
I found this to be an excellent movie. if you saw Hotel Rwanda, you would find quite a few similarities — although I enjoyed this movie much more. (I liked that this didn’t focus entirely on the events in one hotel, which really didn’t give a full picture of the devastation and gravity of the situation.) Just be forewarned about some of the scenes.