Hotel Rwanda Critique

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Ambiguous Media
The influential power of the media is not an issue to be taken lightly. This influence can harbor tremendous benefits, or catastrophic consequences.
Hotel Rwanda begins with a black screen, where the only thing we are exposed to is a radio broadcast, consisting of negative propaganda concerning Tutsi rebels in Rwanda. This is important, in that the black screen represents our minds, with the only input being what we hear over the broadcast. This gives us a sense of what the refugees are doing throughout a large portion of the film. The intensity of the situation before anything happens, as well as during, is amplified by a specific radio station: RTLM. RTLM fuels the hate harbored by the Hutu extremists. "Do not shake the hand that will stab you." is said across RTLM waves about the peace agreement between Rwanda's president and the Tutsis. Before the massacre begins, Paul Rusesabagina is congregating about how the peace agreement will go as planned. As he is doing this, an electrical storm is in the distance, perhaps even surrounding the hotel. Just as Paul states the fact that Tutsi rebels would not ruin the peace agreement, due to the immense benefits, the power to the hotel temporarily cuts out. This insinuates to the audience that the massacre has already begun.

Paul is at constant war with the media throughout this film. This is not limited to only what's broadcasted on RTLM. Shortly after the massacre begins they realize they're child is missing. When he's found, his body's covered in blood. They discover that it's not the child's blood, and begin rejoicing with overwhelming comfort to calm the child. As this is happening, someone asks whose blood is on the child. Paul quickly responds with "Please. Please!" to silence the question from being answered. Paul is later confronted with a disturbing vision of horror, when he believes his lazy co-worker has driven off of the road on a trip for supplies. As he returns to...
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