Hotel Rwanda (2004, Terry George)

Postcolonial Wednesday, part two. Katy loved it because of the important story it tells, but I didn’t like it because it tells the story in the most predictably hollywood manner possible.

When the Hutus (largest group in Rwanda) decide to kill all the Tutsis (rich group that the colonialists put in charge), hotel manager Don Cheadle saves the day! Calls in all his favors from the Belgians and the UN and other Rwandans to protect his family and hotel guests. Goes pretty well for him (with some thrilling close-calls of course)… manages to save 1,000 people from horrible genocide.

Nick Nolte plays the disempowered UN captain who wants to help but can barely protect his own men since he’s not allowed to shoot. Joe Quinn Phoenix is a journalist who’s sent home with all the other non-UN foreigners halfway through the movie.

A really really good story told in straightforward, cliche hollywood movie format. Maybe I’m being too hard on the thing… it’s clearly a must-see movie because of the subject matter, and it’s well acted and well told… but it’s the kind of movie that doesn’t have to be great because it’s a true story about a great man who saved people from death, and how dare you criticize it? I’m just not the target audience for this… with my twin Joe Dante and Jacques Rivette obsessions, this one wasn’t very exciting. It’s probably better than Last King of Scotland, and definitely better than Amazing Grace and Sometimes In April (other rwandan genocide movie katy watched), which are the other new historical hollywood movies watched recently, so I’m feeling pretty good about this one overall. Maybe a 7/10.

Oscar® nominated Don Cheadle:
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Oscar® nominated Sophie Okonedo:
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Oscar® nominated Joe Quinn Phoenix (left):
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Oscar® nominated Nick Nolte:
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Sad Rwandan orphans:
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