CFS presents ‘Hotel Rwanda’

Keith Jones Jr.

Rwanda suffered one of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind 12 years ago. A total of 800,000 citizens, a 10th of the country’s population, were brutally butchered. However, the massacre went almost entirely unnoticed, even though high-speed communication and round-the-clock news were available.

In the face of these horrifying and unfortunate murders, one man served as a beacon of hope for his brethren. Inspired by love for his family, Paul Rusesabagina courageously saved the lives of 1,268 helpless refugees by granting them shelter in the posh hotel he managed at the time.

Rusesabagina’s brave tale is at the heart of the 2004 film “Hotel Rwanda.” In an Oscar-nominated performance, Don Cheadle plays Rusesabagina, manager of Milles Collines, the Belgian-owned five-star hotel in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. As a Hutu married to a Tutsi, Rusesabagina courageously takes a stand, allowing Tutsi refugees to camp out and stay away from danger. Though attempts at bribing officials to keep the soldiers away temporarily sufficed, Rusesabagina eventually resorted to extreme measures.

Belfast-born filmmaker Terry George directed, co-produced and co-wrote the film. George knows a thing or two about violence, having been imprisoned twice in Ireland for suspected IRA activities. His political docudrama brings the horrific moments to light. Through vivid images and effective storytelling, the impact of the gut-wrenching atrocity in Rwanda is well received, despite George’s criticism of the West for its refusal to interfere with the genocide.

“Hotel Rwanda” will air in the Connelly Center Cinema at 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 10, 11 and 12. Tickets are on sale beforehand: $3 for students and $5 for adults. The film is being shown in conjunction with the appearance of Paul Rusesabagina at Villanova on Tuesday in the Jake Nevin Field House, sponsored by the Office of Student Development. At Monday evening’s showing, a discussion about the movie Maghan Keita will lead.

For more information, call X9-4750 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or consult the CFS Web page: