Sunday, June 12, 2005

Weekend Movies

Saw a couple of movies this weekend. Wanted to see one more, but oh well. And since Batman Begins starts this coming weekend, I don't know that we'll get aroung to seeing Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Went last night to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but the showing we were there for was sold out, and the next one wasn't for another hour. So we saw Cinderella Man. Wow, absolutely loved it. Don't know that I'll be buying that one, but I'm really glad that I saw it. Dave asked if I needed to be rehydrated afterwards. I cried a lot. But, well honestly, I cry a lot anyway. I'm sensitive, sentimental, empatheitic, sympathetic - whatever all of the words are that means someone who cries easily. The scene when Russel Crowe's character goes to ask for money just about tore me up. I now have an understanding as never before about what people went through during the depression.

But, while that one is rough, the movie I saw this evening takes the cake for weekend sadness. It's a movie called Sometimes in April, done by HBO about the Rwandan genocide in 1994. I'm ashamed to say that I had no idea this was going on at the time. But I do remember Kurt Cobain's death, which happened at the same time. I haven't seen Hotel Rwanda yet, but had planned to before seeing this one, and certainly will now. I would like to see another story of this horrible tragedy. September 11 galvanized our nation (briefly) when 3,000 people died. A much smaller nation - tiny by comparison - was torn about when its own people began targeting each other and 1 million people were killed - 800,000 of them Tutsi's who were killed solely for being another Tutsi's and not Hutu's. I thank God that I cannot comprehend hunting down the people in my neighborhood simply because they, their parents, or their spouses were originally from Sandy Springs, while I'm from Alpharetta. That's the only way I can think of the tribal differences. Or maybe because their great grandparents came over from Ireland and mine from Scotland? 800,000. Women, children, people in churches, homes, in the street, in schools.

Unfortunately, it seems the Rwandan situation followed a little too closely to Mogadishu, Somalia, for the US government's comfort, and we did nothing. Watching the clip of some silly bureaucrat dance around even naming it genocide is infuriating and heartbreaking.

The UN, that bastion of rescuing the world, only sent 400 troops. France had some there because the Belgians had originally wrestled Rwanda from them years earlier, and given favor to the minority Tutsi's. And so the Hutu resentment existed, even though they had ruled the country since 1959. That's the short story.

A great movie - sad, infuriating, and touching. The rebel army was able to gain control of the country after 100 days and 1 million deaths. And the man who took over as president is still president today. I do not know more than that.

Please, don't think that this movie is all about bashing America for not doing more. It's not. It's about two brothers and the world trying to deal with was happening. One Hutu Army member married to a Tutsi and his brother a Hutu political radio host fanning the flames of the hatred and bigotry. It leaves no one unaccounted for, but isn't about blame. It tells the story. Even after seeing this, you don't necessarily know what America should have or could have done. At least, I don't. There was really no leader to displace. It was anarchy. How do you deal with that? We learned in Somalia that it's no easy task. And we were gun-shy for having that experience.

Someone in the movie asked if it was because they were African, but we sat by and did the same thing with Yugoslavia.

I certainly have no answers. Does anyone? Maybe we'll be willing and able to help next time.

It's a movie worth watching.

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