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Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

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Top Rated Movies #189 | Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 45 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Xolani Mali ...
Policeman
Desmond Dube ...
...
Tony Kgoroge ...
Rosie Motene ...
Neil McCarthy ...
Mabutho 'Kid' Sithole ...
Head Chef (as Kid Sithole)
...
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Jeremiah Ndlovu ...
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Lebo Mashile ...
...
...
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Storyline

1994. In Rwanda, the classification of the native population into Hutus and Tutsis, arbitrarily done by the colonial Belgians, is now ingrained within Rwandan mentality despite the Rwandan independence. Despite the Belgians having placed the Tutsis in a higher position during the Belgian rule, they have placed the majority Hutus in power after independence. Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu married to a Tutsi, Tatiana Rusesabagina, is the House Manager of the Hotel Des Milles Collines in Kigali. The Milles Collines, owned by Sabena (the national airline of Belgium), is a four-star hotel catering primarily to wealthy white westerners. Paul, who knows how to work the system to run the hotel effectively for its guests and for Sabena, is proud that most of the Caucasians who he meets in this professional capacity treat him with respect. After a specific incident, the relative calm between the Tutsi guerrillas and government-backed Hutu militia takes a turn. Paul's thought that the native ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a true story of a man who fought impossible odds to save everyone he could and created a place where hope survived. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for violence, disturbing images and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

4 February 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hotel Ruanda  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$100,091 (USA) (26 December 2004)

Gross:

$23,472,900 (USA) (17 April 2005)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was later revealed by one of the survivors of the hotel, Pasa Mwenenganucye, that Paul Rusesabagina, was not as heroic as he was depicted to be. The people who sought shelter at his hotel were made to pay for their stay, with priorities given to the wealthier people. The backlash was so bad that Rusesabagina was pressured into canceling an appearance at a Canadian festival by members of Toronto's Rwandian community, who accused him of being "genocide revisionist and denier." The head of the UN's peacekeeping force in Rwanda at the time, Canadian Romeo Dallaire, addressed the controversy by simply calling the movie "okay". Despite all the claims, Paul Rusesabagina has stood by the movie and denied all claims of any wrongdoing on his part. See more »

Goofs

The other hotel where Paul Rusesabagina keeps a safe, has a sign calling it "Hotel Diplomat". As Rwanda was fully francophone in 1994, this particular hotel was called and spelled "Hotel des Diplomates". See more »

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. They are murderers. Rwanda is our Hutu land. We are the majority. They are a minority of traitors and invaders. We will squash the infestation. We will wipe out the RPF rebels. This is RTLM, Hutu power radio. Stay ...
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Crazy Credits

The producers wish to thank the people of Alexandra and Thembisa, Johannesburg, S.A. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Umqombothi
Written by Attie Van Wyk & Chiccotwala
Performed by Yvonne Chaka Chaka
Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd. on behalf of Tela Music
Courtesy of Universal Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Shaming and compelling
19 December 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

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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