Hotel RwandaOne of the great moral failures of America in the last decade was its ignorance towards the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. In a little over three months, nearly 1 million people were slaughtered as a result of ethnic warfar between the Tutsi minority, which held power, and the Hutu majority. However, in all the violence and danger, there was Paul hotel manager of the Milles Collines. He managed to turn his hotel into a refugee camp until the violent period of the war was over.
This movie belongs to Don Cheadle, in his best role to date. This is saying a lot, as Cheadle has amassed an impressive resume, sometimes in lesser films. Still, he is long overdue for greater recognition, and if Hotel Rwanda does not provide this, there is something wrong with the world. As Paul, he knows that people are depending on him for their lives. Although he is falling apart on the inside, he strives to maintain an outward appearance of leadership and calmness. His desire to protect his family eventually conflicts with his desire to protect everybody, forcing him into very uncomfortable situations. It gets to the point where he can save his family at the expense of hundreds of other people. The inner turmoil is tremendous, and ably conveyed by Cheadle. Hotel Rwanda comes very close to becoming preachy and overdone, but in the end, it turned out for the better. It's a great story, and also serves as a reminder on the consequences of inaction.