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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

DVD Review: Hotel Rwanda

A beautiful, inspiring film that received all the critical appraise it deserved, Hotel Rwanda is a moving cinematic experience not to be missed. It starts slow, but soon picks up speed, as the conflict begins. The true horrors are never fully shown (note only PG-13), but the film isn't easy-going; the mounds of dead corpses lying in the road and harrowing riot scenes hardly make it easy on your stomach.

Hotel Rwanda centers on a conflict in Rwanda, which the rest of the world has chosen to stay out of, even as genocide is occurring. Don Cheadle plays hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, who uses his hotel as a home to hide the many refugees who are being perused by rebels. His performance is genuinely amazing and unforgettable; as he lies his way through saving his countrymen, talks with higher officials, he never loses the human being beneath. The man is real, and stressed, as he desperately seeks the means to keep the people at his hotel alive. Sophie Okenodo plays his wife just as superbly; going through the same stresses as her husband, and trying to keep her family together. Their scenes together are excellent. Nick Nolte adds some nice support as one of the few UN generals alert to what's happening; trying to aide the refugees.

The film will move viewers; showing them how courage can overcome overwhelming odds. It's a beautiful story of how one man saves thousands. It's superbly written and directed, beautifully acted, and cannot be missed.

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