Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hotel Rwanda

A great performance by Don Cheadle.

Someone once told me that this movie was Schindler's List in Rwanda.

Not quite.

Both are good movies, both deal with genocide, both feature great lead roles, —but that's about it.

Schindler is way more graphic and makes you feel as close as can be to the horrors that happened during the Holocaust. I don't know if this is a bad thing, but I started reading We Regret to Inform you..., that book on the Rwandan genocide, a few months ago. That gave me a pretty good idea of the horrible things that happened.

Hotel tries to convey this, and to someone who isn't too familiar with the story, it might've succeeded. The scene where Cheadle gets out of the car and sees all the bodies in the road are meant to convey what I'm talking about.

But I just didn't feel the punch that I felt from other things I've read about Rwanda. And I read them, so there were no visuals, which makes it harder to create an emotional response in a person (I think).

So basically the only negative thing I have to say about this movie is that it felt like a "lite" version of the truth—which is horrible considering the mass appeal of the movie and the opportunity it had to make this story well known to millions of people (something it still managed to do).

It could've been another Schindler's List, which would've made it an unbelievably good movie (which it still is, I don't know about "unbelievably") with a powerful message about history.

Which would've been a a good thing. But this movie just wasn't ambicious enough—the creators and directors decided to just make a movie "about the genocide" instead.

Which is a shame.


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