Hotel Rwanda - History for dummies

20th Century Fox
Duration: 110min
Category: drama
Available: On DVD
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Hotel Rwanda is a powerful film for what it is; a heavy handed history lesson that drives its message home with a hammer and a "History for Dummies" approach.

Still it's an important film for mainstream audiences to see. It does a fairly good, TV Movie of the Week presentation of the conflict that ravaged Rwanda in the last century. But the film seems made for television. I kept wishing that the film had been made with a little more style, a little more flare.

Some say this isn't the subject matter for style but I disagree. I think film making is always an art. Whether you are making a documentary, a Hollywood film or an art house piece, you are always telling a story and this story could have been told so much better. The Brazilian film City of God is a great example of how to do film with social relevance right.

Also there is something weird about a film where everyone speaks with English accents in a country whose predominant European language is French. I was disappointed that an American actor (Nick Nolte) was chosen to play a French Canadian.

Still, this film is for the masses and it seems to want to make us all feel bad. In this I can agree with the film. This war was going on while most of us turned a blind eye. It wasn't anymore difficult to know about what was going on in the world in the 90s than it is now. Ask yourself this, are you going to have to wait for Hotel Sudan before you want to do something about what's happening in that country? If so it will be too late. It is probably already too late.

If you go into this film not knowing much about the situation you deserve to feel the shame Hotel Rwanda instils in Western audiences. Get off your ass and search out multiple sources of news. Then do something about what you see there… and don't give me any excuses about being too busy. What, you're too busy working to buy that new SUV?

Review By: Collin Smith

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