After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
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
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 cancelling an appearance at a Canadian festival by members of Toronto's Rwandan 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 allegations, Paul Rusesabagina has stood by the movie and denied all claims of any wrongdoing on his part. See more »
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. See more »
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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Part of the profits from this film shall go to The Rwandese Survivors Fund. See more »
Olugendo Lw'e Bulaya
Written by Bernard Kabanda
Published by Real World Works Ltd.
Produced and Recorded binaurally by Tchad Blake at Real World Studios
(p) 1999 Real World Records Ltd.
from the Womad Select album 'Olugendo' WSCD 106 See more »
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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