"Hotel Rwanda" shows less killing and focuses on the uplifting story of an ordinary man who rises to heroic stature under the most frightening circumstances.
If I were to worry, I wouldn't do anything. I would just lock myself in my house. So if anyone wants to kill me, I think that will be that person's problem, not mine. In 1994, this helped me to go on. I was targeted because I was protecting the most wanted people. The elite intellectuals were in my hotel. The business elite, also ordinary and common human beings were there. I said to myself, "Oh well, I will be killed; shall I give up? No. let me do one more small thing before I die." I kept on going like that. Since that time, every day, every month, every year, I call it a bonus.
Hotel Rwanda is a factual account of an ordinary man, Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle) who worked at the luxurious Mille Collines Hotel. It was a great job; one that put his family above the miserable standard of living in Rwanda and him into contact with many influential people. On April 7, 1994, the world Paul knew crumbled. On that terrible day Rwandan Armed Forces and Hutu tribal militias went from home to home killing Tutsi tribe members and moderate Hutu politicians. All over Rwanda, Hutu Power extremist butchered their Tutsi neighbors with machetes, leaving their bodies strewn on the streets like so much litter. This massacre continued for 100 days. Adding insult to calamity, hopelessness to terror, the world turned its back on Rwanda. In the end more than 800,000 deaths stained the hands of not only the hate-filled Hutu extremists, but of the all too passive United Nations.
The Hotel De Milles Collines, a five-star resort in the capital city Kigali, was a safe haven for several hundred Tutsis during the 100 days of slaughter in Rwanda.
Most bio-pics are made about somebodies — warriors, kings, artists. This was a bio-pic about a nobody who became a somebody during the Rwandan genocide, a bloody crossroads for a country with deep-seated ethnic frictions. In April 1994, Paul Rusesabagina was brevetted as general manager of the luxury hotel where he worked, and where more than 1,000 people had fled from the killing rampage. For more than two months, he managed to protect them from being slaughtered. Ten years later, the world saw "Hotel Rwanda." Today, there is no love lost between Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Rusesabagina, who lives in San Antonio and travels to lecture about human rights, as he did in Los Angeles not long ago.
He hid 1,268 political refugees in the Hotel Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda.
Don Cheadle, the actor who plays Paul in the film, describes Paul as a person whose character evolved during that crisis.
"Hotel Rwanda": Age: 14+; MPAA Rating -- PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief strong language; Drama; 2004; 121 minutes.; Color; Available from .
This is a book about humanity at its very worst and how an ordinary man can affect us with the power of words. In Rwanda in 1994, Hutus murdered 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis, in 100 days - a rate of more than five lives per minute. To be shot rather than be dismembered by machete before your screaming family was a mercy.
Not only is the writing good in this movie, the acting is superb, flat out, no questions asked, superb. Cheadle, who has been nominated for an Oscar, does a great job at bringing this ordinary man into situations in which he would show extraordinary bravery. Nick Nolte does an amazing job at showing the utter frustration and helplessness U.N. officers must have felt with their orders to simply monitor. Sophie Okonedo, a relative unknown, has been nominated for an Oscar for for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina. Joaquin Pheonix gives a good supporting performance in which he gets to deliver the memorable line, "People will see what's happening here and say `Oh my God that's terrible,' and then go back to their dinner."
Browning says in his book, Ordinary Men, Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, how the police helped in training and the practice of killing many people at once when forming the Battalion 101.
The point of Hotel Rwanda is to prove that very statement wrong. The moviemakers are calling out to the world to not let the promises made after the Holocaust be forgotten. We said, "Never Again," but again and again since WWII genocides have gone unpunished. The clichM-i of "By remembering the past we protect the future" is not applicable. Genocide is a problem of the present; just look at the Darfur region of Sudan. What makes this movie better than Oscar-worthy and into the category of "Socially Important" is that it does use emotion to urge action, action that could prevent another movie such as this from ever having to be made.
Paul wants to provide a good life for his family by achieving success as a hotel manager.
Later, he hides many Tutsi refugees in the hotel he manages and bribes the businessman and general in order to save the refugees from the genocidal massacre underway.
Faced with extraordinary circumstances, Paul Rusesabagina undergoes a psychological change that enables him to save people from certain death.
Writer/Director Terry George made a
Paul Rusesabagina saved the lives of 1,268 people by giving them sanctuary in the luxury hotel where he was manager, while keeping murderous soldiers at bay, relying on a phone and his extensive contacts book to call in favours. The same gift of the gab that a good hotel manager deploys to schmooze an irate guest complaining about draughts made the difference between life and death; he cajoled and coaxed, flattered and deceived, lied and bribed. He used charm to disarm. 'I am convinced that the only thing that saved those 1,268 people in my hotel was words,' recalls the unassuming man justifiably compared with Oskar Schindler.