Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Rwanda Loves the UN

Rwanda loves the UN

I went to see Hotel Rwanda yesterday. I do not only recommend it, I think it should be mandatory viewing. As we left the theater, my brother said, "that's the reason films were invented."

Dave did an excellent review, which I will link so I don't have to retread adequately-covered ground. Key quote:

"By far the most humiliating example of Western indifference occurs while Paul and others listen to the radio. The radio broadcasts an American press conference with then-Clinton spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers, who is painfully trying to parse the difference between "genocide" and "acts of genocide." By this point in the massacre, it's not just insulting to reality-- the semantics thousands of miles away mean little to the refugees in Paul's hotel. Either help arrives, and they live; or it does not, and they die."

You should also read the comments for See-Dubya's apt use of the phrase "cranio-rectal insertion."

There's an interesting phenomenon in the movie. At the end, the refugees are trying to get into territory controlled by rebel Tutsis (the majority Hutus started the massacre at the beginning of the genocide), and we all breathe a sigh of relief when we finally see the heavily-armed Tutsis. What the movie doesn't point out is that at the same time, in neighboring Burundi, the Tutsi majority was slaughtering the Hutus. The movie doesn't intentionally lionize or demonize either group, but it is strinkingly easy to walk out of the theater thinking "Hutus are bad, Tutsis are good." Both sides seem well-practiced with the use of machetes.