Hotel Rwanda

2004 Drama

Hotel Rwanda tackles one of the most horrifically ugly events in recent history, when the Hutu extremists of Rwanda initiated a terrifying campaign of genocide, massacring hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsis (who had been given power by the departed Belgian colonists), while the rest of the world looked on and did nothing. Don Cheadle stars as Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager at the fancy Les Milles Collines hotel in Kigali. Paul is a Hutu, and a very successful businessman who smoothly greases the wheels, making powerful connections in all strata of Rwandan life. His wife, Tatiana (Sophie Okonedo of Aeon Flux), is a Tutsi. She urges Paul to use his influence to help local Tutsis, who are being harassed and beaten with increasing frequency, but Paul will only use the political capital he's built up to help his own family, if and when they need it. Soon enough, the violence escalates, and the Hutus begin their genocide of the Tutsis. European guests and staff at the hotel are flown out of the country, and Paul is left in charge. He finds that his conscience won't allow him to watch as the innocent are slaughtered, and before long, the hotel has become a well-appointed refugee camp. Paul is seen as a traitor by some, putting his life in danger, and the predicament of his "guests" grows more precarious every day, but despite good intentions on the part of a journalist (Joaquin Phoenix) and a UN peacekeeping colonel (Nick Nolte), the rest of the world is not eager to intervene and stop the massacre. Hotel Rwanda was directed by Irish filmmaker Terry George (Some Mother's Son), who co-wrote the script with Keir Pearson. more..

Director: Terry George

Starring: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Desmond Dube


  • Deep movie emotions for me usually come not when the characters are sad, but when they are good. You will see what I mean.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    26 April 2013

  • An extraordinary and effective film.

    Mick LaSalle - The San Francisco Chronicle

    26 April 2013

  • Emerges as an African version of "Schindler's List."

    Claudia Puig - USA Today

    26 April 2013

  • Cheadle impressively carries the entire picture, delivering the kind of note-perfect performance that's absolutely deserving of Oscar consideration.

    Michael Rechtshaffen - The Hollywood Reporter

    26 April 2013

  • Hotel Rwanda isn't impersonal, even though it only hints at the story's full horror. It's stunning.

    Joe Morgenstern - The Wall Street Journal

    26 April 2013


  • Best Feature Film

    AFI Fest (2004)

  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

    Academy Awards (2005)

  • Terry George

    American Screenwriters Association (2005)

  • Best Foreign Language Film

    Awards of the Japanese Academy (2007)

  • Best Screenplay - Original

    BAFTA Awards (2006)