It tells the true story of Paul Rusesabagina. As a manager at the prestigious Des Mille Collines hotel in Kigali, owned by a Belgian company, he had contact with many influential people, both black and white. The film begins with him naively believing in the superiority and integrity of the Western world and being concerned only for the good of his family. But as a Hutu married to a Tutsi wife, and as the racist radio stations stir up the Intahamwe militia and the genocide begins, circumstances force him to become the protector of around 1,200 Tutsis who take refuge in the hotel and its grounds. The UN peacekeepers are able to do little to help, and as time passes it becomes clear that, having got the whites out of the country, the West is totally unconcerned about how many Africans are murdered. Saving African lives is not a policy worth any votes to the politicians of Europe or America. It is a stinging indictment of the callousness of the West, and of the ‘tribal’ hatred that can emerge in Africa. Paul’s initial naivete is shattered, and he is left with only his wits and his compassionate humanity to protect the people from the insane bloodshed sweeping his country. At the centre of the story is Paul’s love for his wife Tatiana, underpinned by a hint of faith in God.
Director Terry George
This film is a shock to the system. It is set in 1994 amid the genocide in Rwanda in which during 100 days the Hutu people killed around one million of their Tutsi fellow countrymen.
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