*** Official HOTEL RWANDA Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Haggai, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

    Nov 3, 2003
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    An excellent cast and great pacing make this a very effective account of the modern day genocide in Rwanda in 1994, as experienced by a heroic figure who struggled to save his family and hundreds of other people. There are a lot of great moments between Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo (who plays his wife), alternating between humor, hope, and despair, as they try to survive the mounting horror around them. Several scenes in the movie go from laughter to tears, or vice versa, in almost the blink of an eye.

    Although I'm no expert on the subject, I do know a decent amount about the real-life events, and I was impressed with the portrayal of some of the most important details about what happened. The mass murder of almost a million Rwandan Tutsis (killed by militias belonging to the Hutu ethnicity) happened in a very organized manner, with lists of names of the people to be killed being circulated among the machete-wielding militias. Instructions on when and where to carry out the murders were broadcast openly over the radio (this detail is particularly well-chronicled in the film), with barely any attempt to disguise what was happening. The movie strikes a good balance between the personal story-line of Cheadle and his family on one hand, and the broader story of the massive evil that happened on the other. Four out of four stars from me.
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    Real Name:
    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Hotel Rwanda". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  3. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Oct 26, 1998
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    Hotel Rwanda makes for a compelling dramatization of the real life heroic efforts of Paul Rusesabagina, played superbly by Don Cheadle, to save his family and other Tutsi refugees from the hands of Hutu militia. Sophie Okonedo, who plays Paul’s wife Tatiana, also gives a very moving performance.

    Inevitably, the film will be criticized as a sanitization of the actual events that occurred in 1994 in Rwanda. From one’s perspective, that may or may not be a fair assessment. I found that its focus was mainly to tell the personal story of hotel manager Rusesabagina and his efforts to save as many people as possible from genocide and not so much as to document the brutality, rape and other atrocities that led to the deaths of close to a million Rwandans.

    Besides, is showing more blood, disturbing images and violence make for a more compelling film? If so, then that same film probably would have suffered the same fate as the actual events it was based on – less seen and eventually forgotten by a lot of people. But at its present PG-13 state, director Terry George makes the achievement of getting the story and events told once and for all and the film viewed by as many people as possible without becoming too disturbing.

    Hotel Rwanda is a story of hope and perseverance but more importantly, its story is a shameful example of the failure of the international community for diplomatic and political intervention that might have possibly limited or avoided the ensuing deaths.

    One can only hope that present-day Sudan will not suffer this same fate.

  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    I thought this was a very good film, not a great one, but very good. It will make you angry, it will humble you, it will make you shed tears for the victims of the genocide in 1994 in Rwanda while the world sat on their hands and did little to curtail the massacre before so many people had to die for some irrational division of ethnicity.

    Don Cheadle gives a great performance, he anchors the film in his ingenuity and hope as he tries to keep his family alive against heavy odds given the situation that developed. Sophie Okonedo was good, but I'm on the fence as to it being worthy of a best supporting actress nomination.

    If you know a little or nothing about what happened in Rwanda (1994), you owe it to yourself to see this film.

    I give it 3 stars or a grade of B.
  5. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

    Nov 4, 2000
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    Excellent movie, great performances all around and a powerful story of humanity in the midst of evil.

    Direction is competent enough to not harm the story, but unfortunately it makes for a technically unremarkable film.

    In the end, it is only an excellent movie, not a great one like The Pianist, the perfect example of an already powerful material elevated by the sure hands of a master.

  6. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

    Dec 13, 1999
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    I just watched this on Saturday the 02/26. I wanted to get in one more Oscar caliber movie before the Academy Awards. I have been wanting to see this movie for quite sometime now. I am very glad I got to see such a moving and powerful film at the theater. It was one of those movies that I just sat there in my chair after it was over. So dramatic, so powerful so moving. IMO Don Cheadle got robbed of an Academy Award. His performance was stunning. As well as some of the other performances. If you have not seen this film you owe it to yourself to watch this masterpiece. IMO 2nd best film of the year. I give it [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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