Hotel Rwanda [DVD]
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Harrowing drama set during the Rwandan conflict of the 1990s. The Rwandan conflict of the 1990s marked one of the bloodiest chapters in recent African history. Over the course of 100 days, almost one million people were killed. The streets of the capital city of Kigali ran red with rivers of blood, but no one came to help. There was no international intervention in Rwanda, no expeditionary forces, no coalition of the willing. There was no international aid for Rwanda. Rwanda's Hutu extremists slaughtered their Tutsi neighbors and any moderate Hutus who stood in their way, and the world left them to it. Amidst the horrendous violence and chaos that swept the country, one of the many heroes to emerge was Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), an ordinary man who, out of love and compassion, managed to save the lives of 1268 people. The manager of a hotel, Paul offered shelter to these refugees at considerable risk to his own safety.
Solidly built around a subtle yet commanding performance by Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda emerged as one of the most highly-praised dramas of 2004. In a role that demands his quietly riveting presence in nearly every scene, Cheadle plays real-life hero Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager in the Rwandan capital of Kigali who in 1994 saved 1,200 Rwandan "guests" from certain death during the genocidal clash between tribal Hutus, who slaughtered a million victims, and the horrified Tutsis, who found safe haven or died. Giving his best performance since his breakthrough role in Devil in a Blue Dress, Cheadle plays Rusesabagina as he really was during the ensuing chaos: "an expert in situational ethics" (as described by critic Roger Ebert), doing what he morally had to do, at great risk and potential sacrifice, with an understanding that wartime negotiations are largely a game of subterfuge, cooperation, and clever bribery. Aided by a United Nations official (Nick Nolte), he worked a saintly miracle, and director Terry George (Some Mother's Son) brings formidable social conscience to bear on a true story you won't soon forget. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
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Top Customer Reviews
In the case of the Rwandan genocide, the price of non-intervention was a million Tutsi victims, murdered by Hutus in 1994, while the International Community did nothing even though the UN had troops there. As one Colonel of the UN's forces (Nick Nolte) in the film said, "We are here as peacekeepers, not as peacemakers". Foreigners who happened to be in Rwanda could leave the country, whereas the Tutsis were left to die. That was quite ironic, actually, if we take into account that the division of the people in Rwanda between Hutus and Tutsi wasn't natural, but rather imposed by their European colonisers.
Rwanda was, at the time these events happened, a place where unlikely heroes were all that was left. One of them was Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), assistant hotel manager of a four-stars hotel and Hutu. His wife Tatiana (Sophie Okonedo)was Tutsi, though, and his children were considered Tutsis too. ... When mayhem began and Paul was left in charge of the hotel, he stepped up and started to hide there other Tutsis that had nowhere to go. "Hotel Rwanda" allows viewers to understand how difficult it was for Paul Rusesabagina to stay alive, and protect the people he took under his wing in a time when many armed Hutus wanted to kill the "cockroaches" (as they called the Tutsis).
Watching this movie is quite striking, as it is based on a true story. Paul Rusesabagina exists, and he ultimately managed to save more than 1200 people from certain death, taking them to a safe haven.Read more ›
I'm unsure as to whether my experience of this film was coloured by my previous knowledge of the Rwandan war. Nevertheless I was left feeling wrung-out by the end of the movie, having been alternately horrified, disgusted and appalled by the abandonment of the Rwandan people to their fate, this punctuated by brief, heart-warming moments of human courage in the face of lethal adversity.
Human drama at its best.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Film brilliant but you should make it clear that the film doesn't have subtitles which was a disappointment when your deaf? Felt let down !Published 3 months ago by Colin
Saw this a while a go, not keen on tense films with violence, interested in the socio-political aspect but never too sure about interpretations.Published 3 months ago by Susan Stoppani
Just got round to watching dvd - at least 10 parts where scratches stopped the film - would not recommend - ruined experience of such a great film. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Matt
Came quickly but skipped in places and didn't work in certain places. Had to skip some of the film to get through the parts that didn't work.Published 6 months ago by liam woodward