“Hotel Rwanda” is a 2004 film about a Hutu hotel manager who wheels and deals to hide 1000 Tutsi at a luxury hotel in the midst of the 1994 Rwandan conflict. Being the manager of the luxurious Hôtel des Mille Collines (Co-lean) in Kigali, Rwanda afforded Paul Rusesabagina and his wife and children a comfortable life. His position and the ability to access various luxuries and resources helped create connections with various local and international big-shots. Those connections combined with Paul’s hustle and quick thinking would prove vitally important after the Hutu military began a genocidal attack on the Tutsi ethnic group.
“Dancing in the Glory of Monsters” by Jason Stearns attempts to explain the causes of the Congo Wars and the events that unfolded once the fighting began. Unlike in other wars, there is no single individual or group to fully blame for the conflict because there were so many different parties involved from within the country and surrounding nations. The conflict received relatively little coverage in other parts of the world due in part to its complexity. The media likes simple stories with obvious headlines and this conflict provided everything but that.
“The Girl Who Smiled Beads” by Clemantine Wamariya charts her and her sister, Claire’s, experience as refugees during the Rwandan genocide. Born into a relatively comfortable family, the girls’ lives are disrupted as the country descends into civil war and then ethnic genocide. Sent away from their family home in an attempt to keep them safe, the girls find themselves constantly on the move between countries and refugee camps in search of safety and some sense of normalcy.