- Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide
Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide


Rwanda, as shown through film

By maggie on February 3, 2013

During our class discussion following the first three minutes of the documentary on the Rwandan Genocide many people compared and contrasted these images to the film Hotel Rwanda. I had never seen Hotel Rwanda so when it came up in class I decided to watch it that night. It was very interesting for me to watch Hotel Rwanda not only after watching the documentary in class but also after hearing about scenes from the movie during our discussions. While watching the movie I found myself anticipating scenes such as when the car is bouncing over dead bodies on the street, and therefore feeling more mentally prepared to see these scenes than if I hadn’t been warned. I felt that watching Hotel Rwanda after our class discussion made many scenes much more meaningful than if I had watched this movie without any previous knowledge of the genocide. I was able to have a context for the extreme violence that was happening outside the hotel walls although it was not directly shown in the movie. I was able to use the images from the documentary to provide me with an idea of the horrors that were occurring. On the other hand I also felt that watching Hotel Rwanda immediately after watching the class documentary showed me that the movie hid a lot of the truths of the genocide from its audience and I found myself feeling as though the audience of Hotel Rwanda was not being given all the information they deserved. Because I had just been shown images of the realities of the genocide in class, Hotel Rwanda seemed to me to gloss over the truths that I was hoping to find throughout the film. The large discrepancies of a Hollywood film geared towards creating a story versus a documentary geared towards awareness seemed to stand out to me in a way that they might not have if I had watched these two films on separate occasions.

1 Comment

  • Professor Thomson said:

    Glad that you took the initiative to screen Hotel Rwanda. Did you find yourself having an analytical reaction to the clearly emotional content of the film? Is the lack of “truth” a flaw of Hotel Rwanda?

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