“This is How the World Fucked Africa”
It happened by chance that last week I saw “Hotel Rwanda” and this week I saw “The Constant Gardener”. Both films I would brand as super great and real masterpieces.
Hotel Rwanda is not a documentary about the massacre of Tutsis who were killed by Hutus in Rwanda as much it is about this hotel manager who saved the lives of 1,200 people from the Tutsis by being a very good hotel manager, based on his background of diplomacy.
The Constant Gardener is delving into the dirty business of pharmaceutical companies that manage to get approvals to use “cheap” humans as test subjects for medical experimentation without their knowledge or consent. And of course where do those “cheap” human live? The answer is Africa. The main theme of the film revolves around diplomat Justin Quayle who seeks the truth to find why his wife was murdered in Africa while he was in a mission there.
Both films successfully portray the misery and despair in which millions of people in Africa are experiencing while the world is looking away. Hotel Rwanda is based on a true story and The Constant Gardener is based on true details of how big multi-international companies can wear the mask of helping when they are exploiting innocent souls.
I will not go into details about the stories of both films but you can visit Hotel Rwanda here and The Constant Gardener here. Photos are from the same sites.
Diplomat Justin Quayle, a role played by talented Ralph Fiennes, is an example of how diplomacy can be so ineffective when put in the right traditional channels. That’s through embassies and representations. However, when the skills and dexterity of diplomacy are used for a cause, it usually achieves its goals which is quite contradictory but that's what both movies conveyed to me in a way. Those precious qualities of diplomacy functioned so well away from the classic image of diplomats.
Paul Rusesabagina, a role played by Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda revealed how high exquisite professionalism of diplomacy saved the lives of more than 1200 lives from unavoidable genocide though not through the legal traditional channels of diplomacy versus the failure of the real diplomacy to save the Rwandan people from the genocide in 1994.
Every one of us has talents and skills in one area or another and usually restricted to certain channels or circles but same talents could exemplify heroism and great courage in support of great causes like saving innocent lives from a dreadful genocide or from pharmaceutical human testing. It is never an easy mission as in both movies but such missions serve sublime goals that confirm values of our humanity.
When Justine Quayle gave up his diplomatic passport in Britain or when it was withdrawn from him, he did not give up seeking the truth behind the murder of his wife. The truth uncovered a mafia that is using innocent African lives and souls because they think it is “cheap” for drug testing. Missions are not passports. Missions are meant to believe to serve greater causes. The two movies confirm that principle of missions can be owned by anyone as long as she/he is serving an inspirational goal for humans.
I am still touched by Paul Rusesabagina from Hotel Rwanda, Justin Quayle and his wife Tessa, a role played by the pretty British actress Rachel Weisz, from the Constant Gardener. The reason why I am touched or why I cried while watching both movies, it is because they touched the very core of our existence as humans and how we should coexist. We should exist as equal human beings with the same rights. No humans are meant to exist at the expense of the lives of others. No race should exist because it is better than the other; hence the latter should be exterminated. All humans are entitled to live decently with dignity and self respect. There is no such thing as cheap or expensive humans. Qualifying some humans as priority and others as not because of discriminatory values is frightful.
I remember this statement from “The Constant Gardener” when Justine Quayle was visiting Southern Sudan seeing a raid on a refugee camp, he asked the white" doctor while trying to flee the massacre what is this. The doctor answered: “This is How the World Fucked Africa”. True both films are sincerely showing “How the World Fucked Africa” and failed many children and women in their weakness. And that’s enough. I highly encourage you all to watch both movies, because I will not be able to describe how anyone would feel, I would do both movies injust. They are true works of art.
Diplomacy should be Paul Rusesabagina, Justine Quayle and Tessa Qualye's determination to make a better life for others, trying to undo injustices to others.