Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Hotel Rwanda (2004)
  • Time: 121 min
  • Genre: Biography | Drama | History
  • Director: Terry George
  • Cast: Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix


Ten years ago some of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind took place in the country of Rwanda–and in an era of high-speed communication and round the clock news, the events went almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. In only three months, one million people were brutally murdered. In the face of these unspeakable actions, inspired by his love for his family, an ordinary man summons extraordinary courage to save the lives of over a thousand helpless refugees, by granting them shelter in the hotel he manages.

One comment

  • Christophe

    In 1994, in a globalized world concerned with Western affairs, the east-central state of Rwanda disintegrated into a state of neglected turmoil. Within a period of just three months, the nation’s Hutu ethnic majority brutally slaughtered 800,000 Tutsi minority members due to deeply-rooted conflicts, resulting from a legacy of the Colonial Era known as “Tyranny of the Map.” However, Hotel Rwanda (2004) focuses not on the atrocities of mankind, but rather on its humanitarian success. In the midst of chaos, the level-headed hotel manager, Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle) uses his store of goodwill, collected through the flattery of influential powers, to protect his Tutsi family, along with over one-thousand refugees within the safety of his hotel. Rusesabagina epitomizes the good in society, driving miracles in a land torn by violence.

    In a world skewed toward moral deterioration, few people possess the nerve required to do what is right in the face of terror; however, director Terry George recognizes that these people do exist, and they act as the moral compass that guides the masses and lend hope in an increasingly hopeless world. Paul Rusesabagina endeavors as one such leader, and George utilizes his example to not only shed light and promote Western intervention in genocides of the 21st Century, but also to demonstrate that one person – a person whom holds fast to what is right – can be the difference between a massacre and the lives of 1,200 people. Hotel Rwanda illustrates that light shines even in the darkest of places, and accomplishes so through the brilliant use of character and other film techniques.

    George effectively realizes that his film must not focus on the entirety of the genocide; rather, it must focus on the courageous acts of a man in an imploding world. The countless scenes of butchered bodies, emotional breakdowns, and gunfire undoubtedly elicit the emotions of the audience as they witness the atrocities of mankind; however, these very events reinforce Rusesabagina’s demonstration that good will prevail against evil. Overall, Hotel Rwanda triumphs as a compelling drama depicting the need to help others in a time of desperation.

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