THIS IS A TRUE STORY
EXT. KIGALI AIRPORT. DAY
A burning white sun high in a clear blue sky,
PAN DOWN TO:
A rundown (sixties) airport, peeling in the heat.
A mad traffic jam of cars, vans, motorbikes all stopped at a checkpoint
where a RWANDAN POLICEMAN blows his whistle, waves some and stops
others as bored Rwandan soldiers look on.
A white van pulls out of traffic, a balls-out case of line
jumping. HORNS, OBSCENITIES.
Extends from the passenger side of the van, Rwandan francs
pressed neatly between thumb and palm.
The van stops next to the policeman.
Mr. Rusesabagina, good morning.
In the passenger seat PAUL RUSESABAGINA, late 30's, flashes a smile. He
is dressed in a sharp blue suit (always dressed in a neat suit and tie,
it is a matter of pride).
A quick shake of hands. Money passes from one to the other.
EXT. KIGALI AIRPORT TARMAC. DAY
The van parked by the runway tarmac. African music plays on the radio.
Paul drums his fingers, checks his watch.
ZOZO, porter/driver, early thirties, sits nervously.
An airport baggage handler approaches the van.
Sir, the flight is delayed one more hour.
We can get the beer.
Beg your pardon sir, you are Hutu. You
are safe there.
You are with me, Zozo, don't worry.
Zozo throws the van into gear and speeds off.
EXT. KIGALI STREETS. DAY
The white van, marked "THE HOTEL MILLE COLLINES," whips its way through
Kigali's packed streets and open-air markets.
EXT. KIGALI STREETS. DAY
Zozo works THE HORN, weaves in and out of traffic.
What is it like to fly on a plane, sir?
It depends where you sit Zozo. In coach
it is like the bus to Giterama.
That is why they call it coach?
Maybe. But in business class there are
fine wines, linens, Belgian chocolates.
You have taken business class?
Suddenly, Zozo slows.
Paul looks up, SEES: a gathering on the side of the road -- a large
crowd of men dressed in exotically, yet identically colored shirts.
They're members of the INTERAHAMWE - the Hutu Militia.
(Interahamwe - the Hutu Militia will de distinguished by these wildly
colored shirts) They chant, drink beer, dance onto the road,
obstructing cars, threatening the occupants. Several of them perform a
rhythmic dance - the INTERAHAMWE war dance to thumping drumbeat music
from a boombox.
Zozo, scared, looks for a side road, studies the traffic behind.
There is nowhere to turn, sir.
As the van approaches,
The van pulls up beside the Militia.
Boys, do you know the way to Mr.
Some Militia approach. They are suddenly friendly, helpful.