In the Dark

Exterminate the Brutes

Hotel Rwanda
Produced and distributed by United Artists
Directed by Terry George
Screenplay by Keir Pearson and Terry George

Hotel Rwanda is a must-see for President Bush and his administration.  It might make them rethink their oft-repeated assurance that democracy is an unqualified good to be encouraged among all peoples everywhere.

From the day Belgium yielded her colonial rule over Rwanda in 1962 and the African nation was declared an independent democracy, murderous factionalism became commonplace.  The tiny country’s principal tribal peoples, the Hutu and the Tutsi, had lived together more or less amicably since the 15th century.  Once democracy was declared, however, they were at each other’s throats time and again.  In 1994, the unrest exploded into mass murder of proportions bound to impress even the most hardened witnesses to the 20th-century’s various human slaughterhouses.  The bloodletting began when the Rwandan president, a Hutu, and his Burundian counterpart, also Hutu, died in a plane crash of undetermined cause.  The Hutu generals instantly charged the Tutsi with assassination.  Then, in a campaign too well orchestrated to be spontaneous, they unleashed a genocidal furor, calling upon all their tribe members to do their duty and exterminate the Tutsi.  They called the operation “clearing the...

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