Director: Terry George
Stars: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix
Plot: During the 1990s, some of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind took place in the country of Rwanda--and in an era of high-speed communication and round the clock news, the events went almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. In only three months, one million people were brutally murdered. In the face of these unspeakable actions, inspired by his love for his family, an ordinary man summons extraordinary courage to save the lives of over a thousand helpless refugees, by granting them shelter in the hotel he manages.
Cuba Gooding Jr. declined a leading role.
The real Paul Rusesabagina and Tatiana Rusesabagina returned to Rwanda with director Terry George for research. Many people came to welcome them at the airport.
Nick Nolte's character (Col. Oliver) is modeled in part on Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian commanding officer of the UN Peacekeeping mission in that country who attempted to interfere with the Rwandan Genocide despite his superiors' indifference to the atrocity. Dallaire was also the subject of Sundance audience award documentary Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire (2004), and witnessed such horrible acts in Rwanda that he later suffered severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite these facts, this is the only fictional character (name and facts) depicted in the film.
General Bizimungu was sentenced to thirty years in prison for his part in the genocide on 17 May 2011.
It was later revealed by one of the survivors of the hotel, Pasa Mwenenganucye, that Paul Rusesabagina, was not as heroic as he was depicted to be. The people who sought shelter at his hotel were made to pay for their stay, with priorities given to the wealthier people. The backlash was so bad that Rusesabagina was pressured into canceling an appearance at a Canadian festival by members of Toronto's Rwandian community, who accused him of being "genocide revisionist and denier." The head of the UN's peacekeeping force in Rwanda at the time, Canadian Romeo Dallaire, addressed the controversy by simply calling the movie "okay". Despite all the claims, Paul Rusesabagina has stood by the movie and denied all claims of any wrongdoing on his part.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted that the film had made him cry.