In 1994, civil war broke out in Rwanda between the ruling Hutu tribe and the oppressed Tutsis. A million people were slaughtered while the world looked away. It's a huge subject for one film, leading director and co-writer Terry George (Some Mother's Son) to focus on the true story of Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), the Hutu manager of the posh Milles Collines hotel. Paul saved 1,268 Tutsis from the genocide. In playing an ordinary man who finds a core of heroism he never knew he had, Cheadle looms like a colossus. Paul's efforts to protect his children and his Tutsi wife (the stirring Sophie Okonedo) soon extend to a broader family. George has been criticized for simplifying a complex story into an African Schindler's List. But despite flaws in execution, this is a film of rare courage and imperishable heart.
From The Archives Issue 431: September 27, 1984