‘Hotel Rwanda’ shown in McKinney Theatre

Socio-political viewpoints are discussed following the screening of “Hotel Rwanda” (Eric Gorman)

Eric Gorman

The Saddleback College Cinema, Television and Radio program hosted a screening of “Hotel Rwanda,” on Friday night at 7:30, a movie about the genocide of nearly one million African refugees in 1994, starring Don Cheadle.

Keir Pearson, a Saddleback faculty member who wrote the film, was scheduled to be present for a Q&A after the viewing, but unforeseen circumstances prevented his attendance. Fortunately, his colleagues held a discussion following the film.

CTVR faculty Maria Mayenzet asked the attendees about how they felt watching a movie that so closely correlates with current events in Syria, their causes and how society should act upon atrocities.

The typical sentiment was that governments won’t typically intervene during these conflicts if there is no financial ‘upside’ to offset their military expense, of course unless there are outspoken members of their populace pushing for action.

“We have become so complacent,” said Vanessa Garcia, 22, political science. “[But] we have more power than money holds… history has a tendency to bend toward justice when people act for change.”

Lydia Burnam, 33, political science, an African student with Ugandan roots, believes that part of the problem is, “…our leaders, and [that] we are messing up our beautiful world.”

She agrees with Garcia that the people have the power to create change, “It’s so hard to just sit back and watch.”

Ron Meyers, of Mission Viejo, felt the film’s depiction of the genocide was of benefit to society, because, “…it got to enough of the population that some people are paying attention.”

“Anytime where something like genocide is happening, where people are getting hurt, I think it’s crucial that everyone get involved,” said Andrea Napoleon, music. “That’s what sanity is.”

Pearson’s second major screenplay is “Chavez,” which is currently in post-production according to IMDB.com.

“Chavez” is directed by Diego Luna, stars Michael Pena as Cesar Chavez and is set to be released in 2013.

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