Hotel Rwanda

February 4th, 2005








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Hotel Rwanda

Still of Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo in Hotel RwandaStill of Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo in Hotel RwandaHotel RwandaHotel RwandaStill of Sophie Okonedo in Hotel RwandaStill of Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda

Plot
The true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 8.2/10 (127,766 voted)

Critic's Score: 79/100

Director: Terry George

Stars: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix

Storyline
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.

Writers: Keir Pearson, Terry George

Cast:
Xolani Mali - Policeman
Don Cheadle - Paul Rusesabagina
Desmond Dube - Dube
Hakeem Kae-Kazim - George Rutaganda
Tony Kgoroge - Gregoire
Rosie Motene - Receptionist
Neil McCarthy - Jean Jacques
Mabutho 'Kid' Sithole - Head Chef (as Kid Sithole)
Nick Nolte - Colonel Oliver
Fana Mokoena - General Bizimungu
Jeremiah Ndlovu - Old Guard
Sophie Okonedo - Tatiana Rusesabagina
Lebo Mashile - Odette
Antonio David Lyons - Thomas Mirama
Leleti Khumalo - Fedens

Taglines: A true story of a man who fought impossible odds to save everyone he could and created a place where hope survived.



Details

Official Website: MGM/United Artists [United States] | Metropolitan Filmexport [France] |

Release Date: 4 February 2005

Filming Locations: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Box Office Details

Budget: $17,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $100,091 (USA) (26 December 2004) (7 Screens)

Gross: $23,472,900 (USA) (17 April 2005)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
Nick Nolte's character (Col. Oliver) is modeled in part on Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian commanding officer of the UN Peacekeeping mission in that country who attempted to interfere with the Rwandan Genocide despite his superiors' indifference to the atrocity. Dallaire was also the subject of Sundance audience award documentary Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire, and witnessed such horrible acts in Rwanda that he later suffered severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite these facts, this is the only fictional character (name and facts) depicted in the film.

Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): The sign on top of the entrance to George Rutaganda's company headquarter reads "Rutagunda", instead of "Rutaganda".

Quotes:
[first lines]
George Rutaganda: [voiceover] When people ask me, good listeners, why do I hate all the Tutsi, I say, "Read our history." The Tutsi were collaborators for the Belgian colonists, they stole our Hutu land, they whipped us. Now they have come back, these Tutsi rebels. They are cockroaches...



User Review

Shaming and compelling

Rating: 10/10

Anything I say in this review is probably redundant, because there isn't a single negative review in all the comments so far here, and I agree wholeheartedly with what has been said by other reviewers.

Nevertheless Hotel Rwanda is that rare kind of movie experience that doesn't easily relinquish its hold on the audience just because the credits have rolled. Watching with a friend, after ten minutes we had to pause the film because we decided we would be better served if we were more informed about what the basic facts of the conflict in Rwanda were. So to my shame, we had to read on the internet about what really happened, before we could continue. I say shame because we should have known, both of us were of an age when it happened to have taken more of an interest in world politics.

The film is beautifully understated, eschewing sentimentality in favour of raw emotion and letting the story tell itself. The acting was flawless - Don Cheadle's breathtaking performance being a particular standout - and the direction didn't falter, despite all the potential pitfalls of dramatising a recent and horrific conflict. The scenes which were hardest to watch in terms of tension and violence were often suffused with humour and hope.

It's difficult sometimes to separate the significance of the true story, from the artistry of the product, and often I get impatient with 'worthy' movies scoring big at Oscar time because it seems as though important stories ought to be rewarded, whether or not they make good films. However, I can't recall being so profoundly moved by a film since I saw The Grey Zone, and I hope Hotel Rwanda gets all the plaudits it deserves.




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