Cast: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okenedo
Director: Terry George
Certificate: Can/UK/It/SA, Cert 12A, rt 121 mins,
Ten years ago, as the country of Rwanda descended into madness, one man made a promise to protect the family he loved - and ended up finding the courage to save over 1200 people. Hotel Rwanda tells the inspiring true story of real life hero Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), a hotel manager in Rwanda who used his courage and cunning to shelter over a thousand refugees from certain death. While the rest of the world closed its eyes, Paul proved that one man can make a difference.
Directed and co-written by Terry George (writer of “In the Name of the Father”, director of “Some Mother’s Son”), Hotel Rwanda stars Don Cheadle (“Ocean’s Eleven & Twelve”, “Traffic”) as Rusesabagina and British actress Sophie Okonedo (“Dirty Pretty Things”) as his wife Tatiana.
The film has already been garlanded with a long list of awards, among them Oscar nominations for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay, Golden Globes for Best Film and Best Actor in the Drama categories, Screen Actors’ Guild awards for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Ensemble Cast and finally one that will particularly please the film’s director, Terry George, since he also wrote it, a Writers’ Guild of America award for Best Original Screenplay.
This is a film with a heart and with an admirable message since it seeks to portray to a wider audience the humanitarian disaster that was caused out of this real-life carnage. Shocking, humbling images leave you thinking how could the world not know this was happening. The two leads are good, especially Cheadle since the role of Paul seems tailor-made for him. Worth it if you like political exposé thrillers that seek to create real-life events – thankfully genocides on this scale don’t happen that often.