Sunday, January 23, 2005

Hotel Rwanda

This is the third movie of a 3 movie marathon based on real life / characters / events I watched yesterday.

This is a powerful drama. In 1993, there was ethnic war between the Tutsis and the Hutus in Rwanda. The film highlights the horrors of war, and also brings forth that a man must do, in all his ability, to always protect his family first in times of crisis. It's sad, but true, that there is always a limit to the number of people you can help.

Don Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager whose hotel was used by the UN and world media as a base for covering the supposed peace treaty between the 2 ethnic groups, and later used as a place of safe refuge when Hutus start to ethnic cleanse the "cockroaches" Tutsis - it's amazing how easily hatred is bred through endless radio broadcasts.

Being a Hutu himself, and married to a Tutsi, this brings forth danger to Paul himself. However, with his street smarts, and network connections, he manages to stay one step ahead of the situation, and brings hope to his family, employees, and refugees, when all seems bleak.

While the West has abandoned Paul and Rwanda, Paul has shown courage and hope in turning things around, during times of violence and rampant corruption. You're as good as what you can offer to those in power - once you have nothing, you're as good as a goner. This doesn't only apply to Paul and the generals, but also, on a bigger picture, between the West and Rwanda as well.

I haven't watched a lot of movies starring Don Cheadle, except for the Ocean11/12 movies. Given these shows tend to root for strong leading man types, probably Denzel Washington, Cheadle does an excellent job here.

No doubt the lack of A-stars, the supporting cast gave commendable performances, see if you can spot Joaquin Phoenix underneath his bearded face!

I shan't preach here, but I must state that genocide is evil, and the world cannot turn a blind eye when it happens, no matter where.

Watch this film, and understand.

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