Hotel Rwanda (12A)

Written by Keir Pearson and Terry George, Directed by Terry George
Showing at FACT from May 9th - 10th 2005

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Based on the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis by the ruling Hutu tribe in Rwanda during a 100-day bloodbath in 1994, this film utterly fails to depict the sheer scale of the atrocities that took place at that time.

You are shown dead bodies on roads and streets but this does not convey the absolute carnage, particularly of children, which occured, and which was largely, surprise, surprise!, largely ignored by the West. As the Canadian General, Romeo Dallaire (played by Nick Nolte), who was in charge of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Rwanda, said to Hotel owner Paul Ruesabagina (Don Cheadle), who was responsible for saving the lives of many Tutsis, who sheltered in his hotel, "You and your country means nothing to the West, you are shit, the lowest of the low".

This is one of the best moments of a film which is often sentimental, which is out of keeping with the subject matter, lacks imaginative editing - the long fade-outs are irritating - and the acting does not resonate with any real sense of despair or desperation that must have been experienced by the true life characters these actors portray.

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