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Hotel Rwanda (2004) Poster

(2004)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

English was not at that time an official language in Rwanda, but the signs at the hotel are in English first with French below. Also, advertisements and shop names in English can be seen.
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When Paul Rusesabagina is brought to the Hotel Diplomat (about 25-minutes into the film) to take the keys out of the safe, he also takes a stack of $100 USD bills with a post-1996 design.
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During the opening scene in the film, a sign for MTN Mobile can be seen. MTN, a South African communications company, became the main mobile provider in Rwanda in a later year.
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When Paul Rusesabagina goes to the Hotel Diplomat to get the scotch for the Rwandan general the bottles of Glenfiddich are rounded off. The rounded off style of bottles are a newer design, the ones in 1994 would have come to a point.
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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".
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Character error 

Someone said early in the film that the Hutu-Tutsi distinction was introduced by Belgian colonizers. In fact, the distinction had existed beforehand (e.g. King Kigeli IV of Rwanda was a Tutsi), but the divide had been less marked before Belgian rule.
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General Bizimungu says of whiskey that the Scottish call it "uisce beatha - the water of life". In fact "uisce beatha" is Irish Gaelic and the expression is Irish in origin.
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Colonel Oliver, a Canadian, uses very American pronunciations and intonations for words which are said differently in Canada. E.g., pronouncing lieutenant as "lootenant" rather than the Canadian "leftenant".
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The sign on top of the entrance to George Rutaganda's company headquarter reads "Rutagunda", instead of "Rutaganda".
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When Colonel Oliver talks about the beginning of the negotiations, a photographer is seen in the front row shooting the speaker with a reflex lens. This kind of lens can not focus down to less than 3 meters as seen in the film and would be useless anyway because of an excessive magnification.
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Continuity 

When Paul Rusesabagina sends his wife and children away in the UN convoy, Tatiana Rusesabagina is wearing an orange floral skirt prior to getting in the truck and before the truck pulls away, but after the truck pulls away as she is calming the children her skirt is gray.
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When Paul Rusesabagina is first seen getting supplies for his hotel, at one point we see him with his arm brought up to his head, but when the camera angle switches, his arm is down. And then the angle switches again, and his arm is up again.
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When Paul Rusesabagina and Tatiana Rusesabagina are embracing on the roof, Tatiana wraps her left arm around Paul's back and behind his right shoulder but in the next shot her left arm is pulled in tight against Paul's chest.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Camera crew visible in the bus window at the beginning of the movie.
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Factual errors 

Final credits call the militias "Interhamwe". Their real name and spelling is "Interahamwe".
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The shoulder rank insignia of the Canadian Army Colonel in charge of the UN contingent is incorrect: The rank badge should include the word "CANADA" at the outside edge of the epaulet. He is also shown wearing shoulder board insignia which is more typical of a naval officer instead of a senior officer in the Canadian Army. He should have shoulder-mark insignia that slips over the shoulder straps.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The land now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo is called "Congo" in the movie. From 1971 until 1997 the country was officially called Zaire and would have been named as such in formal references.

On the other hand, this area was known as Congo from 1877 to 1971. It should not be unusual for a character in the movie to refer to it as Congo (e.g. as old habit or custom).

Plot holes 

In chapter 2 when the Cuban lobsters are plunked haphazardly onto the table and floor, the chef instantly proclaims "10 are alive, 12 are dead." He makes this surprisingly precise calculation in under 3 seconds, without having had time to examine and number the crustaceans. Some of them were never even within his line of vision. (In the shooting script, the lobster scene was longer, and filled with comic relief and light hearted dramatic irony, providing a sharp contrast to the forthcoming war horrors.)
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Revealing mistakes 

In the last chapter, When Tatiana Rusesabagina is looking for the pictures of her lost little nieces, we first see the pictures with two question marks under it. Five seconds later, the picture is blank.
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When it's raining, it can be seen the sun is shining in the distance in a couple of shots looking away from the hotel. The reflection off Dube's wet coat also looks like sunshine.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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