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
Director Terry George had Don Cheadle in mind for the lead part from the beginning of his involvement. During pre-production, potential investors and interested studios wanted Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Mekhi Phifer and even Will Smith because of their suggested bigger drawing capacity at the box office. But due to ultimately producing the film independently and coming up with the money himself, George was able to go back to his original choice. See more »
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 »
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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Apart from the movie's name, nothing else is shown in the opening titles. See more »
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 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
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