Cheadle, Sophie Okoneda, Nick Nolte, Antonio David Lyons, Desmond Dube and Joaquin
Directed by: Terry George
Terry George Interview
speaking? Hotel Rwanda is one helluva film; strong, blunt, moving,
unsettling and eye-opening. Don Cheadle, an acting treasure, turns in an electric
powerhouse performance and writer director Terry George weaves an accurate, telling,
story the world should listen to.
Rwanda in 1994 is in a terrible state of affairs. Ancient bigotries
are wielding their heads and coming to a frightening head.
hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle) is hoping this time it is as the
last times - all talk and no action.
is very wrong. He is a Hutu. The conflict is with the Tutsi. He does not see the
difference between the people. But, an under current of interahamwe militia, Hutu
militia, are being organized, and brainwashed, that the Tutsi are the cause of
all their ills.
message is being broadcast, literally, by one radio station that feeds the hate
propaganda throughout the country. The unimaginable happens - Tutsi, once friends
and neighbors, are drawn up and slaughtered by barely armed Hutus.
is directly in the middle of the situation. His own wife is Tutsi. He quickly
realizes the situation is grave. Paul uses his skills as a "negotiator"
of the finer things to the elite, to persuade the corrupt military leaders into
sparing a few of his friends.
this is only his beginning. As he comes to realize the country has been abandoned
by those stationed there to help; like the Red Cross and the U.N.. Paul takes
over "his" hotel and sets up a makeshift refugee camp. He fills the
rooms with as many as he can, and barters for food, and liquor stored in the hotel
for their safety.
conflict lasts over 100 days. And in the end Paul manages to save over 1200 Rwandans
by pure will to live and his verbal skills.
on the actual accounts (ninety percent), and assisted by the real Paul Ruesabagina,
writer director Terry George manages to finally tell the world of the atrocities
these people faced. It was genocide. Hotel Rwanda is hard to watch. You will be
worn to tears. But it is powerful, meaningful film making. This should be shown
in schools around the world, along with Schindler's List, to teach people the
affect of hate.
uses the voice of the Rwandan radio station as an ever-lurking protagonist - an
evil, commanding, character. Spewing words of hate from the darkness, behind a
riot, during a march, the DJ is never seen but directly affecting the crescendoing
atrocities, and one gets the feeling, the direct cause of the conflict. And the
"station" is as scary as any serial killer, or demon, in any film -
if not more so.
Cheadle, as Paul, gives you a glimpse into a true hero's character, and grips
your being with his portrayal. There aren't too many roles out there like this.
With this much human depth. He honored the man, and his incredible story of will,
passion and remarkable ability during an unfathomable event. Among the rest of
an impeccable cast of performers, you'll see Joaquin Phoenix and Nick Nolte lending
a hand in this important film.
recommendation: Curried beef and cola, perhaps with a side of valium.