Hotel Rwanda (2004) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: 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. Runtime: 121 mins Release Date: 03 Feb 2004
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 <more>
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.
I have never been so touched by a movie. It was the hardest movie I have ever sat through but also the best. it's so easy to ignore human rights abuses if they are not happening to you or your family, but just because you ignore it, they are still happening. i hope this movie receives the praise it deserves. i am frustrated because nothing i can type can represent how powerful this movie is or how much it moved me. i can't comment on the amazing acting or cinematography or directing because the movie transported me. i did not think about the making of the movie but rather sat shocked <more>
and horrified and nauseated and inspired. there was the red cross agent. there were heroes and while human nature perverts and the thin veil of culture unravels, there is still good. i have to look at the good of the heroes in the movie and of the people that wrote the movie, and realize that going to the movies doesn't have to be about escapism. it can be about reality. this is a must-see, not because it will make you laugh but because it will make you think and feel.
I was fortunate to see this film at the Toronto Film Festival. I had heard nothing about this film before I read up on it in the Fest guide and originally was going to see something else. But, the subway happened to shut down and I was not going to be able to see the film I originally intended. So, I decided to give this a try.And I am so very glad I did.This film is by far the best drama I have seen all year, and indeed was the best film of the 11 I saw at the festival. It is gripping, heart-wrenching, and opens your eyes to so many things. Don Cheadle -- who I am a long time admirer of his <more>
work -- is phenomenal in the lead role, and I hope that he is nominated for Best Actor this year, because he certainly deserves it.I am recommending this film to everybody I know and I hope that it gets a wide distribution because it certainly is a film that needs to be seen. While comparisons can be made to Schindler's List, I think that this film goes further to show that events like the Holocaust can happen any time -- even now -- so long as people look away, just as the UN did in Rwanda. It certainly makes one think about how easy it is for us to forget our history and allow it to be repeated, because as one character says we will watch it on TV, say that it is terrible, and go right on eating our dinner. 10/10
I was fortunate to see it at the Toronto International Film Festival.Hotel Rwanda starred Don Cheadle and was directed by Terry George. It's based on a true event, about Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu who worked at four star hotel in Kigali. When the war broke out he thought of only saving his immediate family but as he saw what was happening he opened the hotel to Tutsi and Hutus seeking refuge from the killing. He used all the favours he had stored as manager of the hotel and basically saved over a thousand lives. This will be the next Schindler's list. When the film was over, there was <more>
a standing ovation. Don Cheadle was excellent as an ordinary man forced to do extra-ordinary things. Paul Rusesabagina and his family attended the screening and he received a five minute standing ovation. Even Michael Moore came to see this movie. I highly recommend it. 9/10.
When the world closed its eyes, he opened his arms. (by Lady_Targaryen)
''Hotel Rwanda'''is a very powerful and sad story showing the atrocities that happened in Rwanda in 1994,where almost 1 million people were killed in 100 days. The division of two groups, the tutsis and the hutus,made Rwanda's peace something to dream about. We see that all started when the Belgians gave power to the tustsis, because they had a fair skin and a complexion much more similar of the Europeans then the hutus. Even measuring the noses was a normal thing to do. Years after, the Hutus were the ones who stayed with the power and they wanted revenge by smashing <more>
the tutsis.This movie shows the history of a man called Paul Rusesabagina and his courage during the war in Rwanda, when he saved the lives of over a thousand helpless tutsi refugees from a big genocide. Paul is a hutu, but his family is tutsi, another reason to have experienced the terrible things the hutus were doing to the tutsis.Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo are both awesome in their roles, and Don should have won the best actor award/Nobel.Ps: Jean Reno's cameo here.
Just over ten years ago, Rwanda, a former Belgian colony the size of Vermont, became a horrific killing field, the result of ethnic, social, and political hatred between the majority Hutus and the rival Tutsis, the former ruling elite who ran the country for the Belgians and treated the Hutu as second class citizens. The Washington Post reported "how the heads and limbs of victims were sorted and piled neatly, a bone-chilling order in the midst of chaos that harked back to the Holocaust." The massacre that claimed over one million lives was triggered by the still unsolved <more>
assassination of Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose plane was gunned down by missiles on his return from a conference in Dar-es Salam. Senior Hutu leaders used the downing of the plane as an excuse to exterminate Tutsis and moderate Hutus. While the UN maintained a peacekeeping presence they did not intervene, nor did the U.S., France, Belgium or other Western powers who had the power to stop it.In the Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda, the atrocity is dramatized through the story of the determination of one man who sheltered over 1000 Tutsis including his wife Sophie Okenado , a Tutsi woman, and his children. Don Cheadle portrays hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in a towering performance that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Rusesabagina, who served as an adviser to the film, managed the Belgian-owned Hotel Mille Collines in the city of Kigali, a luxury hotel where UN dignitaries socialized with Western diplomats and media. As homes are invaded and bodies pile up, people are forced to leave their homes and seek shelter in churches, schools, and in this case the luxury hotel.As the sounds of fighting outside increase, the White guests are forced to leave and the remaining Africans are left to defend themselves with the token aid of the UN peacekeeping force, led by Colonel Oliver Nick Nolte , who is faced with an insurmountable task. With supplies of food and water diminishing and the violence increasing, Paul pleads with his guests to telephone the outside world in a plea for help but with scant results. The comment by an American journalist about the value of airing a segment explicitly showing Hutus hacking Tutsi civilians puts it into perspective: "They will go 'O God, that's horrible!' and then go back to eating their dinner." Hotel Rwanda allows us to see the conflict in human rather than political terms and Paul's loving relationship with his family is believable and deeply affecting. Though scenes of gory violence are kept to a minimum earning the film a PG-13 rating, the scene showing Paul and his assistant Gregoire driving through fog and discovering hundreds of bodies of slaughtered innocents lying on the road, stands out for its understated horror. Though not justifying the massacre, more historical background would have been helpful such as knowing the role of the Belgian colonial authority in fomenting ethnic division in the country, and the 1990 invasion of Rwanda by the exiled Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front with the support of the Americans and the British. While Hotel Rwanda may fall short of greatness, it is nonetheless a moving and powerful film, an unflinching indictment of the political extremism that fed the turmoil, the indifference of self-satisfied Western nations, and the courage and tenacity of one man who made a difference.
A brilliant movie that deserved a Best Picture Oscar-nomination (by anhedonia)
At one point in "Hotel Rwanda," our hero Paul Rusesabagina Don Cheadle asks an American TV reporter Joaquin Phoenix how the western world could not intervene after seeing scenes of women and children being hacked by machete-wielding Hutu militia.How could they not, indeed! As we all know, the west didn't intervene. Not surprising, really. After all, this was Africa and Rwanda had no oil reserves. The people being killed were innocent men, women and children, but they were poor and black.A few years ago, former President Bill Clinton apologized to Rwandans for not intervening <more>
during the 100-day massacre that saw about one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus slaughtered in the most barbaric manner. It was gracious of Clinton, but a fat lot of good his apology did to the people who were killed and their families.The Rwandan genocide - that's what it was, though western leaders split hairs over the meaning of genocide also was a black mark on western nations, which simply got their citizens out of Rwanda and then remained indifferent to the senseless killings.Terry George's film gives us one story about the Rwandan genocide, of one hero, Paul, a savvy, clever and cunning manager of a swank, four-star Belgian hotel in the capital, Kigali. When the massacres began, Paul, a Hutu, sheltered more than 1,200 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the hotel and saved them from the wrath of the bloodthirsty mobs.Working from a smart script by Keir Pearson and George, "Hotel Rwanda" contains gutwrenching and emotionally trying moments not seen on the big screen since "Schindler's List" 1993 . But whereas Spielberg's masterpiece was more arty and artistic - and I don't mean that pejoratively - George's film seems more immediate. Maybe it's because we now see a similar slaughter of poor, downtrodden people in the Darfur region of Sudan and, again, western nations aren't doing much other than threatening to rap the knuckles of the bad guys like angry teachers. This crisis gives "Hotel Rwanda" a sense of urgency.As visceral as this film is at times, George handles everything in muted fashion. We never see the horrors firsthand. There's brief news footage of people being killed and one particularly searing scene when Paul and his bellhop Gregoire Tony Kgoroge find themselves on a bumpy road. The moment's made more horrifying because George unveils it quite matter-of-factly.Making a PG-13 film about genocide requires numerous compromises. Putting most, if not all, of the violence off-camera is one such bargain George made. True, a closer look at the massacre would have rightly tortured us. But the film, nevertheless, works without gruesome moments. Pearson and George set out to make a story of heroism, survival, love and compassion amid the madness. And they succeeded.Cheadle carries the entire film. There isn't a false note in his performance. For years, he's turned in one superb performance after another. He's one of those actors who never hits it wrong and whose performances always stand out even if the films themselves aren't all that memorable. Here, he's in equal measure the smooth manager, man with a conscience and frightened husband and father. You can sense Paul's frustration, though Cheadle rarely displays any vulnerability.He gets great support from Sophie Okonedo as Paul's Tutsi wife, Tatiana, and Nick Nolte doing his best work in years as a Canadian United Nations officer, Colonel Oliver. Okonedo and Cheadle are utterly believable as a couple. They have one traumatic scene on the hotel roof, a quietly powerful moment that tugs at our heartstrings as we watch two people who love each other try to deal with what could happen. Okonedo conveys anger, fear and pain without ever turning the moment sentimental or needlessly overwrought. That's why the moment's shattering."Hotel Rwanda" isn't flawless. George doesn't harshly indict the west for its indifference. Also, some scenes, especially one near the film's end, seem staged for obvious dramatic effect, to play with our sense of sympathy and dread. But minor faults can easily be forgiven because the rest of the film works so well, never sensationalizing any moment. The film's straightforward approach gives it more power, makes it more trenchant and meaningful.I would like to believe that we learn from history and the more powerful western nations will always come to the aid of oppressed people everywhere. But we're doing little in Darfur and although President George W. Bush openly touts his vision to spread liberty and democracy to oppressed peoples everywhere, I doubt he actually means it. After all, this freedom doctrine was something he created only after his initial justification for waging an unjust war - Iraq's supposed stockpiles of WMD - proved to be wholly without merit or fact. I doubt he actually considers bringing liberty to places like Zimbabwe or Burma. He speaks of the need for people to be free, conveniently ignoring some dictatorial nations - Pakistan and Turkmenistan, for instance - because they happen to be our allies. And so the dumb foreign policy continues.I can only hope the success of "Hotel Rwanda" will prompt other gutsy screenwriters and filmmakers to tell us more stories about the horrors that took place and the complacency of industrialized nations that could have helped and chose not to.
Extraordinary film based correctly on real deeds about the brutal genocide (by ma-cortes)
1994 Rwanda,Kigali. Paul Rusesabagina Don Cheadle is a Hutu happily married Sophie Okonedo and with children.He's Hotel manager Millie Collines proprietary of Belgian Airlines:Sabena and its General Director Jean Reno placed in Belgium.Paul is respected for his generosity,charm,friendship and numerous contacts with important people.He's accidentally trapped in violent events when his family and neighbours are threaten to kill.He gets avoid it by means of bribes with the hope that United Nations UN and international forces arrive to preventing the civil war. However the happenings <more>
break out again.After assassination of President of Rwanda, all get worse.It begins the horrible genocide including rampage,ravishing and ravage in Rwanda which is spread for Burundi.Slaughter of Tusis by the Hutu is executed by soldiers and rebels. A journalist Joaquin Phoenix get into tumult and will shoot to show it at the world.Paul gets to protect his family and unfortunates refugees at the hotel but others hapless by the hundred are coming to ask help.Meanwhile the refugees Tutsis flee toward Congo to find shelter.The film has an acid critic to the indolence of United Nations exception Colonel incarnated by Nick Nolte and international community and specially, the abandon of foreign policy European.Thus, a personage says that origin conflict is for Belgians whom in colonization epoch differentiated the Tutsi as highest and complexion more white and co-governed united the country,now the Hutu are taking the vengeance. It's calculated that in the indiscriminate massacre were cruelly killed by militia Interhamwe approximately one million people and in only three month.Conflict finished in 1994 when the Tutsi throw out the Hutu army and militia through of the frontier Congo. Leader of Interhamwe was condemned to maxim penalty. Don Cheadle interpretation is magnificent ,he was nominated for Acadamy Award although wrongly didn't obtain it.The motion picture is well directed by Terry George. Rating : Awesome and above average .Indispensable watching
Making a film and a contribution to humanity (by Chris_Docker)
I usually say my criteria for assessing a film are asking myself if it inspired, educated or entertained me. I somehow don't seem to have a category for 'it totally devastated me'.Nearly all the main characters are based on real life people very real. One of the problems we have in coming to terms with the ethnic destruction of a peoples we have no knowledge of, have little culturally in common with, have little to identify them as 'people' other than a biological acknowledgement is that, for us, they are not very 'real'. So is the point of a film about the <more>
Rwandan genocide that left a million dead that they become more real? Does that make any difference? One of the results of going to see this very powerful, very harrowing and in terms of the personal integrity and bravery of some central characters, very beautiful film is that part of the proceeds go towards helping the people who are left. Another, perhaps, is that by becoming more aware of suffering our desire to find a way to avoid or alleviate it increases. The film shows a divide between - on one hand - the Rwandan people who, rich or poor, had sensibilities much like you or I, - and on the other hand - the troglodytes that wanted to kill each other and with a logic reminiscent of President Bush's "if you're not with us you're against us" simplistic attitude anyone who didn't join them. The inclusiveness of the carnage and the inability or unwillingness of the West to help meant there was no get out along the lines of 'if they want to kill each other let them'.The performances are so spellbinding that it is hard to watch the film without feeling the suffering of those involved. Although it points the finger at a reluctance of the West to get involved, we also have to ask ourselves that, even if the powerful governments or the UN were willing to get involved, could the carnage have been prevented? The lack of any well-structured hint at a potential solution is perhaps one of the very few flaws of the film. Similarly, the swiftness of some of the events makes historic sense but there is not always enough detail to explain why things happened the way they did. But it seems clear that some intervention could have at least reduced a large amount of the carnage, so in a way Hotel Rwanda is a protest against international apathy.The official website of the movie provides much in the way of reference material, links and analysis. This helped to confirm my view while watching the film that those involved felt that there was something more at stake than being film stars. In doing so they have become true stars, irrespective of what awards were won or not.