Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

HOTEL RWANDA - Hollywood and the Holocaust in Central Africa

I've always thought that there was more to this story than what was being told. It just didn't make sense to me. But anyway, here is a different version of a terrible story.

What happened in Rwanda in 1994?

The standard line is that a calculated genocide occurred because of deep-seated tribal animosity between the majority Hutu tribe in power and the minority Tutsis. According to this story, at least 500,000 and perhaps 1.2 million Tutsis–-and some moderate Hutus--were ruthlessly eliminated in a few months, and most of them were killed with machetes. The killers in this story were Hutu hard-liners from the Forces Armee Rwandais, the Hutu army, backed by the more ominous and inhuman Interahamwe militias–-“those who kill together.”“In three short, cruel months, between April and July 1994,” wrote genocide expert Samantha Power on the tenth anniversary of the genocide, “Rwanda experienced a genocide more efficient than that carried out by the Nazis in World War II.

The killers were a varied bunch: drunk extremists chanting ‘Hutu power, Hutu power’; uniformed soldiers and militia men intent on wiping out the Tutsi Inyenzi, or ‘cockroaches’; ordinary villagers who had never themselves contemplated killing before but who decided to join the frenzy.”

[1]The award-winning film Hotel Rwanda offers a Hollywood version and the latest depiction of this cataclysm. Is the film accurate? It is billed as a true story. Did genocide occur in Rwanda as it is widely portrayed and universally understood? With thousands of Hutus fleeing Rwanda in fear of the Tutsi government and its now operational village genocide courts, is another reading of events needed?

[2] Is Samantha Power--a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist--telling it straight?

[3]Read the article (it is long)

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