"His Brother’s Keeper"
What You Need To Know:
HOTEL RWANDA is an amazing, ultimately uplifting, reconstruction of a tragic, troubling time. Don Cheadle turns in a commanding performance as Paul. Sophie Okonedo gives a powerful performance as Paul’s wife. Best of all, HOTEL RWANDA has a very strong moral worldview that extols courage, family, intelligence, and risking one’s life for others. Although there is foul language and violence, the movie contains strong Christian references.
(BBB, CC, LL, VV, N, A, D, M) Very strong moral worldview opposes racism and extols courage, family, intelligence, and risking one’s life for others, with strong positive Christian content includes an appeal to Jesus, Christians help victims and cross on man’s Christian wife helps him to save the lives of many people, including his own family; 12 obscenities (two “f” words), two strong profanities, three light profanities, people thank God for blessings, and Christian woman blurts emotional appeal to Jesus when she first sees dead genocide victims (“Oh, Jesus, no!”); strong, tense scenes of violence, but not extremely gory, considering the subject matter, such as people shot, van moves across bodies of genocidal victims, bodies lay in streets with some blood, implied use of machetes on victims, people dragged from vehicles, explosions, and some images of amputees in makeshift hospitals; no sex; upper male nudity and female cleavage; alcohol use; smoking; and, radio station preaches racism and genocide, racism and tribalism strongly rebuked, hero has to bribe people to survive, bribery is a way of life in hero’s war-torn country, rich nations rebuked for their apathy about Africa, and Clinton administration officials in the United States at one point squash international efforts to stop African genocide.
GENRE: Historical Drama
HOTEL RWANDA is a straightforward account of how one man, a hotel manager in Rwanda, Africa, was able to protect his family and save the lives of more than 1200 people when genocidal maniacs murdered nearly one million people in the 1990s. It is an amazing, ultimately uplifting, reconstruction of a tragic, troubling time.
In the story, Don Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina, who rises through the ranks of a hotel chain based in France, to become manager of the Hotel Milles Collines in Kigali, the capitol of Rwanda. The country is ruled by the Hutu tribe, which makes life difficult for the former leaders, the Tutsis, who comprise about 15 to 20 percent of the population. In April 1994, assassins murder the Hutu dictator, and roaming bands of a radical Hutu militia start murdering every Tutsi and moderate Hutu they can find. Paul is a Hutu moderate, and his wife is a Tutsi, so they are potential victims of this genocide.
One night, Paul feels he can no longer protect his family in their house, so he moves them to the hotel. There, the white hotel administrator and the UN forces abandon them. Paul must cleverly negotiate with a friendly Hutu general and his own bosses in France to protect his family, and the 1,200 Tutsis and Hutus who have fled to his hotel for safety. Only his courage and intelligence can help them now.
HOTEL RWANDA is a tense, exciting story of one man’s tremendous bravery. It shows the chaos and madness that shook his country for 100 days. Don Cheadle turns in a commanding performance as Paul. Sophie Okonedo gives a powerful performance as Paul’s wife, Tatiana. HOTEL RWANDA has a very strong moral worldview that speaks out against racism and extols courage, family, intelligence, and risking one’s life for others. It also contains strong Christian references associated mostly, but not entirely, with Paul’s wife. These references imply that God and Jesus are helping Paul, but the movie could have made this more explicit.
The shame of Rwanda is that, according to figures from 2001, 56 percent of the population is supposed to be Roman Catholic and 26 percent is supposed to be Protestant. Yet, according to some news reports, racism and resentment are still prevalent in that country, where about 51 percent of the populace suffer from some form of the deadly sexually transmitted disease, AIDS.
Were it not for a couple “f” words, MOVIEGUIDE® could have rated HOTEL RWANDA a Plus One on our moral acceptability scale. Despite this problem, it is an important movie that deserves to be seen.