February 11th, 2005


Hotel Rwanda

You've seen them, movies about the Holocaust, both true and fictional: The Piano, Life is Beautiful, Schindler's List, Diary of Anne Frank...well, to paraphrase Matthew McConaghey's summation at the end of A Time To Kill, "Now imagine they're black."

Hotel Rwanda is the true story of one man, Paul Rusesabagina, and how he reacted in the face of the Rwandan Massacre of 1994. Acting as manager of the Hotel Mille Collines, he managed to keep the Hutu Power supporters out of the hotel and sheltered over 1200 Tutsis (these were the people playing the parts of the Jews in this particular genocide) and Hutu Tutsi sympathisers. And he's still alive and well and living in Belgium with his wife, children and adopted nieces.

When you see one of these movies, the characters are always escaping death by millimetres, by random chance, by accident. And it always seems so contrived...but it all actually happened. Incredible, what people can do when they have to.

Don Cheadle's up for a Best Actor Oscar™ for his role as Rusesabagina, and he deserves it. It's a complex man he's portraying. He's not a heroic person, he's just one of us, doing what he thinks should be done. He's one of those who has had greatness thrust upon him. He's a husband, father and brother protecting his own, a boss protecting his staff, and a human protecting people in danger. Not because he wants to, necessarily, but because he has connections and he is the one in a position to protect.

Nick Nolte, however, makes a lousy Canadian.
  • Current Music
    Gilmore Girls on tape