Hotel Rwanda

Based on the true story of Paul Rusesabagina (played by Don Cheadle) who gave refuge to more than 1,200 Tutsi refuges during the Hutu’s ethnic cleansing campaign. The first major film to deal with the subject is heart wrenching, but it has a poor production quality that undermines the story at times. Cheadle is powerful in the central performance, as is Sophie Okonedo as Rusesabagina’s wife, Tatiana. Admittedly, the story of the Rwanda massacres is a vast one, which results in the film feeling a little conventional and simplified at times. But Cheadle is terrific here, and director Terry George manages some passages of true dread and horror. When Rusesabagina steps out of a vehicle that seems to have hit a bumpy patch of road and discovers he is running over dead bodies, it’s a chilling moment. Joaquin Phoenix and Nick Nolte show up in bit roles.

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