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Hotel Rwanda (2004)

  Directed by: Terry George
Written by: Terry George, Keir Pearson
Starring: Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte, Sophie Okonedo
Links: Hotel Rwanda on the IMDb, Official site
Genre: Based on True Story

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Humbling, isn't it?" - a review by pearly

Hotel Rwanda is based on the genocide ten years ago in the country of Rwanda. To give its audience an idea of what happened, it focusses on one particular story, that of Paul Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle. Rusesabagina, a Hutu man with a Tutsi wife named Tatiana (Sophie Okonedo), allowed over a thousand Tutsi people into the hotel where he was manager during the worst of the Hutu uprising, and in doing so, doubtless saved most of them from death.

Apparently unable to secure funding from America, writer/director Terry George, determined to make the picture, turned to other countries, and Hotel Rwanda ended up a Canada / UK / Italy / South Africa co-production. It is some sort of irony, then, that sees the film up for three Academy Awards. Two of these awards are for acting, with Cheadle and Okonedo getting kudos for their performances. Both are very deserving, but particularly Cheadle, who took over the screen.

The story told in Hotel Rwanda is captivating, terrifying, and uplifting all at the same time. How did the rest of the world ignore what was happening in Rwanda, and have we learnt anything since? As the old guy sitting next to me said whilst the closing credits rolled, "humbling, isn't it?". But more than just looking at the events as a third party, Hotel Rwanda zooms in on one particular set of people, and shows you the courage, and invites you to think about what you would have done in the same situation.

Though there's no doubt that the script has been tizzyed up to make it into more of a cinematic tale, Rusesabagina himself was an advisor on the film, and the things that happened to him in the film cannot be far off what really happened. It is difficult to imagine how he could have made it through all that he did, and at the same time, help out so many. Truly amazing, and further proof that some of the best stories come from real life.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 28 Feb 2005

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Reader comments

  1. This movie has a wonderful story to tell, and tells it in great detail. The acting of Don Cheadle is incredible and well-deserving of the Academy Award. The other actors do a superb job as well, though he completely overwhelms the screen. The drama is intense and uplifting, though it never feels "Hollywoodized". The characters are all believable and the tragedy that occurred in Rwanda really strikes home.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from William Gladwyrd on Fri 02 Mar 2007 04:55 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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