Hotel Rwanda


Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 94%
IMDb Rating 8.1 10 294722


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November 10, 2012 at 05:11 PM



Joaquin Phoenix as Jack Daglish
Nick Nolte as Colonel Oliver
Jean Reno as Mr. Tillens - Sabena Airlines President
Don Cheadle as Paul Rusesabagina

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by classicsoncall 9 / 10

"We must shame them into sending help."

It's films like this, whether one hundred percent historically accurate or not, that convince me that any suggestion of 'world peace' is merely a pipe dream. Here you have two warring tribes within the same country that can't get along with each other, resulting in death and bloodshed involving over a million people. And for what? When you come right down to it, what was the essential difference between Tutsi and Hutu? None that I could tell, and quite honestly, none that most of the evil Interhamwe could tell as well unless one admitted to being one or the other. It just makes me so angry.

And as for the United Nations, what exactly is their purpose if they can't take a principled stand in the face of genocide and slaughter? Any minute I was expecting Nick Nolte's character, General Oliver, to take matters into his own hands as he witnessed the persecution and beatings, but no. He was handcuffed by a set of principles laid down by distant bureaucrats with the threat of losing his command if he didn't follow orders.

It's hard not to wind up being cynical after seeing a treatment like this. I have a t-shirt that states 'Losing Faith in Humanity, One Person at a Time', and this film is the embodiment of that sentiment. The real life Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed by Don Cheadle, is a living saint in my book, having the courage and selflessness to look beyond his own family and personal circumstances, to put his life at risk to help both Tutsis and Hutus escape an impossible situation. His most powerful scene, in my estimation, was when Paul realized that the world community was not moving forward to help the Rwandans, challenging his hotel guests and the targeted Tutsis to reach out to anyone they personally knew who could possibly help their situation. It was such a travesty that he had to implore them all to 'shame the world into sending help'.

Reviewed by John austin 8 / 10

The Tragedy the World Refuses to Remember

While America was transfixed by O.J. Simpson and his low-speed chase in a white Ford Bronco, the worst humanitarian tragedy since WWII was taking place in Rwanda.

Don Cheadle excels as the Hutu manager of a Belgian luxury hotel who does whatever is necessary to save as many people as possible while a Hutu militia, largely incited by government radio, engage in an unrelenting slaughter of Rwanda's Tutsi minority.

Cheadle and the people he is trying to protect hold out in the hotel protected only by a small contingent of UN troops led by Nick Nolte, who's number one order is to avoid a firefight with the locals. The film accurately portrays the total failure of the "world community" to take action that could have prevented the massacre of hundreds of thousands.

The UN and other organizations have detailed files and reports of this occurrence that can be read on line by anyone who is interested in this. In those files you will learn there was a similar incident there in 1970 that claimed 100,000 lives. They're real good at writing up reports after the fact, but they were useless in preventing or limiting this tragedy. That's essentially what this movie tells us as well.

Reviewed by digsmash 9 / 10

Still a striking film

I had it seen it long ago on the big screen. Then about five minutes of the film on TV last night and it got me again. In the rain, the bus departing, the children singing. Don Cheadle is a man of many faces. This was one of his most remarkable. The quiet dignity in the face of the unspeakable in order to provide safety for others. It was very different from some of his other roles, yet he inhabits this one a hundred percent. The Academy still owes his an award.

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