In the face of unspeakable tragedy, one man’s courage and compassion changed a nation forever.
Rwanda had always been a land of stark contrasts. Its lush green hills and expansive forests had earned it the nickname “the land of a thousand hills,” while its troubled history of tribal conflict had left a deep scar on its people.
Throughout the 20th century, the Hutus and the Tutsis had alternately lived in peace and waged brutal wars against one another. By the time the 1990s rolled around, the seeds of a new conflict had been sown, and the result would be nothing short of catastrophic.
Chapter One – “The Calm Before the Storm”
Paul Rusesabagina sat on the balcony of his luxurious home, gazing out at the rolling hills of Rwanda. It was a beautiful day, with the sun shining brightly and a gentle breeze blowing through the trees.
But even as he savored the beauty of his surroundings, Paul couldn’t shake the sense of unease that had been building within him for weeks. Tensions between the Hutus and the Tutsis were rising, and he could sense that something terrible was about to happen.
As the manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, Paul had seen his fair share of conflict. But this was different. The air was charged with an electricity that he couldn’t quite put his finger on, and he knew that things were going to get worse before they got better.
Despite his misgivings, Paul tried to go about his daily routine as usual. He had a business to run, after all, and he couldn’t let the chaos outside his doors distract him from his responsibilities.
But as the weeks went by, he watched in horror as his beloved country descended into madness. The radio stations blared hate speech against the Tutsis, whipping up a frenzy of violence that seemed unstoppable. He heard stories of people being hacked to death with machetes, of families torn apart by senseless brutality.
Paul knew that he had to do something to help. He and his wife, Tatiana, had always been generous to those in need, but this was something different. This was a matter of life and death, and he couldn’t stand idly by while his fellow Rwandans suffered.
So he did what he knew how to do best: he opened his doors to those in need. The Hotel des Mille Collines became a sanctuary for Tutsi refugees seeking shelter from the violence. Paul took in as many guests as he could, putting his own safety at risk in order to protect them.
It wasn’t easy. Food and supplies were scarce, and the hotel was quickly becoming overcrowded. But Paul refused to give up. He knew that the lives of his guests were in his hands, and he was determined to keep them safe, no matter what.
And even as the world outside descended further into chaos, Paul clung to the hope that a better future was possible. He knew that the road ahead would be long and difficult, but he was ready to face it head-on.
For Paul Rusesabagina, the calm before the storm had passed. But he was determined to weather the storm, no matter the cost.
Chapter Two – “A Nation Divided”
Tensions between the Tutsis and the Hutus in Rwanda had been simmering for decades, but in the early 1990s, they rapidly escalated. For Paul Rusesabagina, a wealthy hotel owner, the signs of trouble were impossible to ignore.
As he sat in his office one day, he heard the sound of gunfire in the distance. At first, he thought it might be a simple dispute between neighbors, but when he turned on the radio, the news was dire.
Reports were pouring in of massacres and killings around the country. Roadblocks were being set up all over, and people were being stopped and searched based on their ethnic identity. The mood in the air was tense and ominous.
Paul knew that he had to act quickly to protect his family and friends. He had a reputation for being resourceful and connected, and he believed that he might be able to secure safe passage out of the country for those who were in danger.
But as the situation deteriorated, Paul realized that his plans for escape were unrealistic. He watched as more and more people were targeted and killed based on their ethnicity, and he knew that he couldn’t simply leave them behind to fend for themselves.
The turning point came when Paul’s own house was raided by armed men. His family was spared, but he realized that the only way to keep them safe was to find a way to protect others, too.
He reached out to his connections in the government, hoping to get help from the police or the military. But he quickly learned that they were all complicit in the violence, or too afraid to act.
With no one else to turn to, Paul decided to take matters into his own hands. He began to secretly shelter Tutsi refugees in his hotel, providing them with food, shelter, and protection from the Hutu militias that were roaming the streets.
At first, it was a small operation – just a few people here and there. But as the violence escalated, more and more refugees began to arrive at Paul’s doorstep, desperate for safety.
Paul knew that he was putting himself and his family in danger by helping so many people. He could see the roadblocks being set up outside his hotel, and he knew that it was only a matter of time before the militias came knocking on his door.
But he refused to back down. He felt that it was his responsibility to do everything in his power to help those in need.
As the weeks passed, Paul’s hotel became a lifeline for the Tutsi refugees. He worked tirelessly to keep them fed and safe, even as the situation outside grew more and more dire.
He watched as friends and neighbors were killed in the streets, and he knew that he too could become a target at any moment. But he refused to give up hope, and he kept fighting for what he knew was right.
In the end, it was this determination and courage that would inspire others to join him in the fight for justice. Despite the odds, Paul remained committed to protecting the innocent, and he emerged as a true hero in the face of unspeakable tragedy.
Chapter Three – “Taking in Refugees”
As the conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus in Rwanda escalates, Paul Rusesabagina realizes that he cannot ignore the growing danger any longer. He decides to take action by offering his hotel as a safe haven for Tutsi refugees.
Paul and his wife, Tatiana, start taking in refugees in small groups, offering them food and shelter. However, as the violence outside the hotel intensifies, the number of refugees seeking safety at the hotel grows rapidly.
Soon, the hotel is filled to capacity with more than a thousand refugees. The situation is chaotic, with people sleeping on floors and in hallways, but Paul and Tatiana are determined to protect their guests at any cost.
Paul’s job as a hotel manager requires him to navigate delicate situations, and he uses those skills to good effect as he works to keep the refugees safe. He negotiates with the military and the government, using his connections and resources to secure the necessary supplies to keep the refugees fed and clothed.
Despite the danger and stress that come with sheltering so many people in a confined space, Paul refuses to let his guests feel hopeless. He works hard to boost morale by keeping the refugees’ spirits up, organizing activities for the children, and even setting up a makeshift bar in the hotel to offer the adults some respite from the stress.
As the days go by, the situation outside the hotel grows increasingly dire. Gunfire can be heard in the distance, and there are reports of mass killings taking place across the country. The refugees huddle together in the hotel, fearful for their lives.
Paul realizes that he may be putting his own family in danger by helping so many refugees. His wife, Tatiana, is also frightened by the mounting violence and the risk they are taking by offering shelter to so many people.
However, despite their fears, Paul and Tatiana continue to offer refuge to anyone in need. They believe that it is their duty to help those who are suffering, no matter the risks.
As the situation in Rwanda deteriorates further, Paul and Tatiana’s hotel becomes a glimmer of hope in a country ruled by chaos and violence. The refugees sheltered within its walls look to Paul and Tatiana as their protectors, and the couple works tirelessly to ensure that everyone under their care is safe and cared for.
Chapter Three is a testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity. Paul and Tatiana’s selflessness and bravery are an inspiration to all who read this moving drama, and their story is a powerful reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope.
Chapter Four – “The Cost of Freedom”
Paul Rusesabagina has taken on the incredibly difficult task of managing a hotel filled to capacity with Tutsi refugees, all seeking shelter and safety from the deadly violence that has consumed Rwanda. While his hotel provides a safe haven, it also comes with a great cost–both for Paul personally, and for those who have sought refuge within its walls.
As the days go by, Paul finds himself struggling to keep up with the needs of his guests. There are so many people to feed, to shelter, to care for, and he is running out of resources. The hotel’s kitchen is working around the clock, but even with their best efforts, food is becoming scarce. Some of the refugees have fallen ill, and there are not enough medical supplies to go around. Paul knows that he is pushing himself and his staff to their limits, but he also knows that giving up is not an option. These people have nowhere else to go, and he cannot bear to think about what might happen to them if they were forced to leave the safety of his hotel.
Despite the overwhelming burden of responsibility he carries, Paul does not show any signs of wavering. He remains strong and determined, focused on providing for his guests no matter what it takes. But as the situation becomes more dire, he begins to see the cracks forming in his own armor.
One night, Paul wakes up in a cold sweat, unable to shake the nightmares that plague him. He thinks about his family, who are staying with him in the hotel, and wonders if they are truly safe there. He thinks about the refugees who are depending on him for their survival, and wonders if he is doing enough to protect them. He thinks about the world outside the hotel, where the genocide rages on, and wonders if there is anyone left who cares about what is happening here in Rwanda.
As the days continue to pass, Paul’s physical and emotional exhaustion becomes more and more apparent. He is more irritable with his staff, and more prone to outbursts of anger. The weight of his responsibilities is clearly taking a toll, and he begins to fear that he may not be able to keep it up much longer.
And yet, despite all of this, Paul somehow finds the strength to keep going. He works tirelessly to keep the hotel together, to ensure that his guests have food and shelter, and to keep their spirits high in the face of overwhelming adversity. He is a beacon of hope in a world that has been consumed by darkness, and his guests look to him for guidance and reassurance.
But even as Paul tries to keep everyone else from falling apart, he knows that he is close to his breaking point. He wonders how much longer he can keep up this impossible task, and whether he will ever be able to escape the horrors of this war-torn land. For the first time, he begins to question whether he has taken on more than he can handle–but even in the depths of his despair, he knows that he cannot give up. Too many lives depend on him, and he refuses to let them down.
Chapter Five – “A Desperate Bid for Help”
As the situation in Rwanda worsened, Paul Rusesabagina knew that he needed to do something to save the lives of the people in his hotel. He had already taken in over a thousand refugees, and the situation was becoming more dire with each passing day. The Hutu militias were closing in, and he knew that he needed help if he was going to keep his guests safe.
With no other options left, Paul decided to reach out to the international community for assistance. He made pleas to the United Nations, the United States, and other countries, begging for help in stopping the genocide that was taking place in Rwanda. He sent out countless messages, pleading for aid and relief, but his cries for help mostly went unanswered.
Paul’s first attempt to contact the UN was a failure. He sent an urgent message to their headquarters in New York, pleading for their help in stopping the violence. He detailed the horrific events that were taking place in Rwanda, describing the senseless killing and violence that was tearing the country apart. He begged the UN to send peacekeeping forces to Rwanda, to help restore order and protect the innocent people who were being targeted by the Hutu militias.
But the response he received was not what he had hoped for. The UN sent back a message, saying that they were aware of the situation but that they did not have the resources to intervene. They told Paul to do what he could to keep his guests safe, but gave him no real assistance or support.
Paul was devastated by this response. He had hoped that the UN would be able to mobilize quickly and send forces to Rwanda to intervene in the violence. But instead, he was left to fend for himself and his guests, with little hope of outside help.
Undeterred, Paul continued to send out messages to other countries, hoping that someone would be able to help. He reached out to the United States, sending a message to the embassy in Kigali. He begged them to intervene, to send troops to protect the Tutsi refugees who were being targeted by the Hutu militias. He described the situation in his hotel, telling them about the people he had taken in and the danger they were in.
But once again, Paul was met with disappointment. The US embassy in Kigali responded to his message, saying that they were aware of the situation but that they were not authorized to take action. They told Paul to do what he could to keep his guests safe, but gave him no real help or support.
Paul was running out of options. He had sent messages to the UN and the US, as well as other countries, but no one was coming to his aid. He knew that he needed to keep trying, but he was running out of hope.
Despite the lack of outside assistance, Paul refused to give up. He continued to fight for the safety of his guests, doing all that he could to keep them safe and fed. He worked tirelessly to keep their spirits up, to give them hope in the midst of the violence and bloodshed.
In the end, Paul’s efforts would not be in vain. Though he did not receive the help he had hoped for from the international community, his bravery and selflessness would inspire others to join him in the fight for justice. He emerged as a true hero in the face of unspeakable tragedy, a shining example of what one person can do to make a difference in the world.
Chapter Six – “The Limits of Humanity”
The world outside of the hotel walls has grown darker and more violent than ever before. Paul feels a sense of despair as he watches the horrors unfold before his eyes. He has seen mass graves filled with the corpses of his fellow Tutsis, and he is left feeling helpless and alone.
Paul struggles to reconcile his beliefs in justice, compassion and humanity with the atrocities he witnesses. He is all too aware of the fact that the perpetrators of the violence are not cartoon villains – they are human beings, capable of the same love, compassion and goodness that he sees in his own family and friends.
As he listens to the disturbing rhetoric of extremist Hutus, Paul realizes that the hatred that has consumed them is not a natural state of being. It is something that they have been taught, something that has been drummed into their heads by those in power.
With each passing day, the situation in Rwanda grows more dire. Paul is forced to confront the limits of his own humanity as he struggles to find a way to hold on to hope and resist the urge to give in to despair.
He watches as ordinary people turn on each other, driven by fear, anger and hatred. The streets are filled with blood, and everywhere he turns he sees the faces of those he has lost.
Despite the overwhelming darkness that surrounds him, Paul refuses to give up on his faith in humanity. He knows that there are still people out there who are capable of love, compassion and kindness – he has seen it in his own guests at the hotel.
One day, Paul is approached by a group of children who are searching for their parents. These children have been left orphaned by the violence, and they are starving and alone. Paul is struck by the sheer weight of their suffering, and he realizes that he must do something to help them.
With the help of his colleagues and guests, Paul begins to provide food and shelter for the orphaned children. He sees that even in the midst of such devastation and despair, there are still people who are capable of acts of great kindness and compassion.
Despite the glimmers of hope that he sees around him, Paul cannot shake the feeling that he is fighting a losing battle. The international community has failed to take action, and the genocide shows no signs of slowing down.
As the days wear on, Paul begins to see his guests and colleagues start to crack under the pressure. People are starting to lose hope, and some are even beginning to question the worth of their own lives in the face of such overwhelming brutality.
But through it all, Paul remains steadfast. He knows that the only way to push back against the darkness is to hold on to hope and to keep fighting for what he knows is right. He refuses to let the people he has taken in become just another set of statistics in the ongoing tragedy.
As the chapter ends, Paul’s resolve is stronger than ever before. He knows that the road ahead will be long and difficult, but he also knows that he is not alone. He is determined to keep fighting for what he believes in, no matter what the cost.
Chapter Seven – “A New Dawn”
Paul Rusesabagina had always believed that even amidst the darkest times, there was always a light of hope that shone through. Despite being surrounded by death, destruction and chaos all around him, he never wavered in his belief of a better tomorrow. As the nights turned into weeks and the weeks into months, he continued to keep the refugees safe and comfortable within the walls of the Hotel Mille Collines.
Despite the overwhelming odds, Paul never lost his faith in humanity. He watched as people from all walks of life came together to help the refugees, food and medical supplies were donated, and help came from unexpected sources. Through it all, Paul continued to encourage and inspire those around him, offering words of hope and comfort to those who needed it most.
As the situation in Rwanda began to calm down, Paul started to think about his family and friends who had been caught up in the violence. He was relieved to learn that his wife and children had survived, and he was grateful for the support of his friends and colleagues who had helped him along the way.
As he looked out over a more peaceful Rwanda, Paul realized that his experiences had changed him. He had always been a man who believed in justice and compassion, but now he had seen the way that humans can be capable of unspeakable cruelty. He knew that he could never forget what he had seen, but he also knew that he had to keep moving forward, to keep working towards a better tomorrow.
In the years that followed, Paul continued to work tirelessly to help those in need. He became a vocal advocate for human rights, and he worked to bring attention to the atrocities that had occurred in Rwanda. He spoke in front of the United Nations and other international organizations, drawing attention to the plight of the Tutsi people and the need for justice.
Despite the challenges he faced, Paul never gave up hope. He knew that there would always be more work to be done, more battles to fight. But he also knew that by working together, people could achieve great things. Through his bravery, compassion and unwavering hope, Paul had become a true hero, a shining example of what it meant to be human.
As the sun set on a new day in Rwanda, Paul looked out over the world, and he knew that there was still so much to be done. But he also knew that, with his friends and allies by his side, they would be able to overcome any obstacle. Together, they would build a brighter future, one filled with hope, compassion, and love.
Some scenes from the movie Hotel Rwanda written by A.I.
EXT. KIGALI, RWANDA – 1990s – DAY
A busy street in Kigali, Rwanda. People going about their daily business. We meet PAUL RUSESABAGINA, an affluent hotel manager in his 40s, as he steps out of his car and walks towards his hotel, “Hotel Des Mille Collines”. His morning routine begins.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
Paul moves around the lobby greeting his staff as he goes. He stops at the front desk to speak to a guest. In the background, we hear the faint sound of protests happening outside.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
No, thank you. I hope the situation outside doesn’t affect your business.
Paul nods and turns to leave. He walks towards the window and peeks outside. He sees a group of people protesting with banners and flags.
EXT. HOTEL – DAY
Paul steps outside to get a better look. Suddenly, the protests turn violent. People start throwing rocks, and a group of armed men appear.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
Paul rushes back into the hotel and turns to his staff.
Lock all the doors! Nobody goes in or out until we know what’s going on.
The staff immediately follows his instructions. As they move towards the door, we see the fear in their eyes.
EXT. HOTEL – DAY
The armed men approach the hotel, shouting and screaming.
Open the doors! We know you have Tutsi pigs hiding in there.
Paul looks at the armed man with a steely gaze.
Sorry, but I cannot let you in. We have innocent people in here, and I will do everything in my power to protect them.
The armed man pulls out a gun and points it at Paul. Paul doesn’t flinch.
INT. HOTEL – DAY
Paul rushes to his office and picks up the phone.
Hello, is this the UN? My hotel is under siege, and I need your help.
EXT. KIGALI, RWANDA – DAY
The sun beats down on the bustling city of Kigali. People rush through the streets, talking and laughing. But the tension in the air is palpable. There’s a feeling that something is about to happen.
INT. PAUL’S HOUSE – DAY
Paul Rusesabagina, a handsome man in his 40s, sits at the kitchen table, staring off into space. His wife Tatiana enters the room, carrying a tray of food.
What’s wrong, Paul?
I don’t know. I just have a bad feeling. Like something terrible is about to happen.
It’s just your imagination, Paul. You worry too much.
I can’t help it. I see the way people are acting. The way they look at us.
(puts a hand on his)
We’re safe here. We have each other.
You’re right. I shouldn’t worry so much.
EXT. KIGALI MARKET – DAY
Paul walks through the crowded market, picking out fresh vegetables and fruits. A group of men watch him, their eyes following his every move.
(to his friend)
There goes the rich man.
He won’t be so rich when we’re through with him.
INT. PAUL’S HOUSE – NIGHT
Paul and Tatiana sit in the living room, watching the news on TV. Suddenly, the power goes out. They hear screams and gunshots outside.
Tatiana, take the kids and hide.
What about you?
I’ll hold them off. Go. Now.
Tatiana rushes out of the room as Paul grabs a machete from the wall.
EXT. PAUL’S HOUSE – NIGHT
Paul stands in front of his house, machete in hand. A group of men approach him, their guns raised.
You should have left when you had the chance.
Listen to me. We don’t have to do this. We can all live in peace.
Peace? You’re living in a dream world, rich man.
The men raise their guns, and Paul charges forward.
CUT TO BLACK.
EXT. KIGALI STREETS – DAY
The streets are littered with bodies. Smoke rises from burning buildings.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
Paul stands in the lobby of his hotel, surrounded by refugees. He looks out the window, watching the chaos outside.
This is our home now. We’ll be safe here.
The refugees look to him for guidance, as Paul begins to formulate a plan to keep them all alive.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
Paul Rusesabagina greets a group of refugees at the door, leading them inside. We can see the fear etched on their faces.
Welcome, welcome. We’ll do everything we can to keep you all safe. Please, come in and make yourselves comfortable.
He leads them to a makeshift seating area where other refugees are already gathered. There are people of all ages, from elderly women to young children.
We have blankets, food, and water for everyone. Please, if there’s anything else you need, let us know.
A woman with a baby approaches him, looking tired and desperate.
Please, sir, my baby is very sick. He needs medicine.
I’ll do my best to get you what you need. We have a small clinic here in the hotel, and there might be something that can help.
As Paul begins to lead the woman to the clinic, he sees a group of armed men approaching through the window.
Stay here, all of you. Don’t make a sound.
He quickly rushes to lock the door, but the men are already breaking through the windows.
Go to the back of the hotel! There’s another exit there. Quickly!
The refugees begin to scatter, some running towards the back of the hotel while others hide behind furniture. Paul picks up a phone and dials for help.
Hello? Yes, this is Paul Rusesabagina at the Mille Collines Hotel. We need help. Armed men are attacking us.
The line goes dead. Paul’s heart sinks as he realizes that they’re on their own.
He grabs a table and pushes it against the door, bracing himself for the worst.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
Tired but determined, PAUL walks around the lobby of his hotel, checking in on the refugees. They huddle together in small groups, their faces tired and hungry.
(to the refugees)
We may not have much, but we will make do. We will stay together and we will survive.
A YOUNG MOTHER approaches Paul, her eyes filled with fear.
Please, sir, my baby is sick. She needs medicine.
Paul looks at the baby, who is feverish and whimpering.
(to his assistant)
Fetch the doctor.
But sir, we don’t have any medicine.
Do it anyway.
Paul turns back to the young mother.
We’ll do everything we can for your baby.
As his assistant rushes out of the lobby, Paul sees a group of armed men approaching the hotel.
(to the refugees)
Everyone, stay calm. We have a right to be here.
But the armed men barge into the lobby, shouting and waving their guns.
You’re harboring terrorists, foreigners. We have a right to search your hotel.
Paul tries to reason with the soldiers, but they are too aggressive and too determined.
(to the refugees)
Anyone who doesn’t have proper documentation, leave now.
The refugees begin to panic, gathering their few belongings and trying to flee.
(to the soldiers)
Please, you can’t do this. These people have nowhere else to go.
We’ll do as we please.
Just then, the doctor rushes in, and Paul pulls him over to the young mother and her baby.
As the soldiers continue to search the hotel, Paul tries to comfort the refugees, reassuring them that everything will be okay.
But he can’t help but feel a sense of dread as the armed men move deeper into the hotel.
INT. HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Paul sits at a desk, scribbling frantically on a piece of paper. He pauses, looks up, and then continues writing. We hear his voiceover as he writes.
My dearest wife, Tatiana. I hope this note finds you and our children safe. As you know, the situation here in Rwanda has become dire. The genocide continues, and the world seems to have turned a blind eye to our suffering.
The door bursts open, interrupting Paul’s thoughts. A man in a suit strides into the room.
Mr. Rusesabagina, the UN is on the phone for you.
Paul jumps up from his desk, his heart racing. He hurries over to the phone on the nightstand and picks it up.
ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE
A UN OFFICIAL speaks hurriedly.
Mr. Rusesabagina, we’ve received your message. I’m afraid there’s not much we can do at the moment. Our hands are tied.
BACK TO SCENE
Paul’s face falls. He slams the phone down in frustration.
Why won’t they help us? We need help!
He paces back and forth, his mind racing. Suddenly, an idea occurs to him.
And then it hit me. If the UN wouldn’t act, maybe I could appeal to someone who could.
He grabs a pad of paper and a pen and begins to write furiously.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
Paul marches up to a group of foreign journalists who have gathered in the lobby.
I have a list of contacts in the foreign press. I need you to help me get in touch with them. We need to get the word out, to let the world know what’s happening here.
The journalists nod, sensing the urgency in Paul’s tone.
We need to make noise, to raise the alarm. We need to make them understand that this isn’t just some tribal conflict. It’s systematic slaughter, a genocide!
The journalists exchange glances, moved by Paul’s passion.
Please, it’s our only hope. Will you help us?
The journalists nod again, and Paul hands them his list of contacts.
Thank you. Thank you so much.
The journalists leave, and Paul sinks down onto a nearby chair, exhausted but hopeful.
It was a long shot, but it was all we had left. I just had to pray that it would work.