Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Monday, February 28, 2005

Hotel Rwanda

The weekend was a busy one. My wife and I finally bought a new couch. We will still just have a rocking chair as furniture, along with our card table and two folding chairs in the eating area, but the new couch will be much appreciated.

Friday night we met up with our good friends Kate and Gilbert in Nashville to see Hotel Rwanda. I’ll just tell you that it is a must see. Don Cheadle’s performance was amazing in the role of Paul, the manager of a posh Rwandan hotel caught up in the middle of a horrible genocide. Don’s character, based on real events, showed compassion towards a thousand Tutsi refugees and hid them from Hutu-led slaughter. Even though I was only 11 at the time, I do not recall hearing about the horrible events that took place in Rwanda back in 1994 (Dafur is in the middle of a genocide now but is not widely covered in the media). The movie portrayed the powerful nations of the world almost ignoring the people’s plea for aid. One character in the movie said that people, when they heard of the terrible news would say, “’Oh my God’….and then go on eating their dinner.” What’s more appalling was the fact that most Rwandans involved in the killing were churchgoers, even though this wasn’t discussed in the movie.

Brian McLaren wrote a moving article for Leadership Journal discussing his feelings on the movie and comparing it to the popular Passion of the Christ. I must say this movie was powerful and challenging. It showed a nation crying out for help when none came. It showed a man dealing with his own struggles of helping others in the midst of persecution and pain. It showed the effects of political agendas and the devastation left by war. If you go see this movie, it will not be easy to sit through or walk out of feeling the same, but maybe that’s not a bad thing.