Hotel Rwanda by Terry George

“In the film, “Hotel Rwanda directed by Terry George and Irish screenwriter and director, uses many significant scenes throughout the movie to create meaning and present many ideas and themes around the Rwandan Genocide. George uses a variety of techniques like camera angles, lighting, editing, costume, sound and more to present his themes, one of the main ideas being the negative effects of genocide. This theme is conveyed to us through various techniques and helps the film develop and become inspirational to viewers as they get to see and understand the hatred of the Hutu against the Tutsi.

The opening scene begins with a Hutu Talking on the Hutu Power Channel of why he hated all Tutsi’s and believed they were ‘cockroaches’. It then switches over to a normal day in Rwanda in a town called Kigali in 1994 where nothing appears to be wrong. George uses many different film techniques to create mood and emotion. One camera technique that is used is an establishing shot. This shot has been used by George at the head of the scene and shown the location of where the action is at. This shot shows viewers that no hatred is being shown openly but the tension is mounting as soldiers are standing are waiting for action. This shot is combined with the visual technique, natural light, which helps us to feel like we are in the scene helps to reinforce the tautness and pressure that can be felt building up. War is in the air. Natural sounds in the town can also be heard making the viewer feel part of the scene which adds to the tension making the audience sit on the edge of their seats.

George uses costume as another aspect as the soldiers is the main problem which creates tension due to how dangerous and affective, they appear due to them having props like guns and batons. This helps the audience see the danger of the situation as they can sense something dreadful is going to happen. These four aspects combined together as shown in the midsentence screenshot show the current state of Kigali and how the audience is preparing for the setting change any moment, something terrible is about to happen. Terry George uses the combined techniques to build tension and strain to show the hardships that were about to occur in Rwanda. The film it’s reiterates the reality and terrible genocide which occurred not long after this scene and the negative effects that it caused. Although this scene still looks slightly peaceful, this changes dramatically as genocide occurs due to the president’s (a Hutu) plane being shot down which enraged the Hutu’s.

Many children and young adults were killed due to Hutu’s believing that if they killed all the young age groups this would stop the next generation of Tutsi’s to occur. This also affected buildings and houses as most Tutsi houses where burnt or destroyed. These terrible impacts from genocide affected many people and links to the genocide that occurred during WWII when Germans attempted to wipe out the Jews to make a perfect Aryian Race. In both cases, the Tutsi’s and the Jews were much the same as their enemies but were judged by their looks or faces. In both era’s these terrible genocides affected millions of people and helped us to understand the horrible effects of genocide. Today Rwanda is slowly rebuilding but memories still remain of those fateful times.

Another scene that Terry George uses to reinforce to the viewers the negative impacts of genocide, one of the main themes of the film ‘Hotel Rwanda’ is one of the closing scenes when Paul and Tatiana and family are escaping the Rwandan genocide and are being taken to safety. George uses many different film techniques to create mood and emotion. “

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