After watching Hotel Rwanda this week, my eyes were once again reopened (as they have been every Tuesday night during class). I had never seen the movie before and as I heard the many warnings that the it is a tear-jerker, I shrugged it off as I expected to not be caught by surprise at any point during Hotel Rwanda. I didn’t cry, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t deeply saddened by the depictions of the genocide and the battles faced by Tutsis.
We also read a few personal stories written by individuals who were only children during various genocides. Each author recounted what they could remember and how they view it now. Genocides affect survivors in incredibly different way and these stories really showed these differences. Some were merely happy that they are safe now. Some recognized the importance of family throughout tragedies. Some weren’t able to survive with their family. Some are even angry that they lived through such terrible experiences. I was surprised about the mixed emotions that I read about but after giving it more thought, I realized that I shouldn’t have been surprised. I’m so glad that these authors shared their stories with the world so that we can put faces and specific images in our minds rather than just the general term “genocide.”
For me, this week was about recognizing that an extraordinary amount of people have been effected by genocide and that every single person has their own story and own experiences that make genocide so heartbreaking. One by one these stories have been emerging in our class through movies or narratives, and these stories are way more touching to me than any number or statistic.