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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Hotel Rwanda will really choke you up

I've been meaning to see this for awhile, and last week it came courtesy of Netflix: Hotel Rwanda. It's a movie that came out about a year ago recounting the real-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, manager of the posh Hotel Milles Collines in Kigali, Rwanda. When the country erupted into civil war in 1994, Rusesabagina saved the lives of more than 1,200 Rwandans by sheltering them in his hotel. It's a POWERFUL film, and quite a sobering one: the Hutu slaughter of the Tutsis was one of the most horrific events of recent history, and the filmmakers really confront you with visuals that echo all too well the rivers and roadsides swollen with corpses. Don Cheadle has the best role of his career to date as Paul Rusesabagina: a man ready and willing to do anything to save the life of a neighbor... even if he's never met that neighbor. The DVD is packed with extras, including two documentaries: one is about the making of the film, the other is about Rusesabagina's return to Rwanda after almost seven years away. PLEASE be mindful that this second one has some quite disturbing images that may bother some people: it sure did me. But don't let that hinder you from seeing Hotel Rwanda: it is not only an involving drama, it is an entertaining (and when appropriate, humorous) movie that will affect you on so many levels.