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Hotel Rwanda director Terry George on history's lessons

By Steve Ramos · February 16th, 2005 · Reel Answer
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Hotel Rwanda filmmaker Terry George has an ideal goal regarding his acclaimed drama about the 1994 Rwandan genocide, when Hutu extremists slaughtered their Tutsi neighbors. He wants to remind people about the Western nations' failure to intervene and perhaps, prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

"This experience has left me with an obligation to tell the Rwanda story and to fight against the people who believed that Rwanda did not have anything worth fighting for," George said, speaking last fall at the film's premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Don Cheadle is a Best Actor Oscar nominee for his performance as Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager who saved 1,268 people by housing them in his hotel.

Cheadle's costar, Sophie Okonedo, is a Best Supporting Actress nominee for her performance as Rusesabagina's wife. George, who also wrote In the Name of the Father and The Boxer, and co-writer Keir Pearson are up for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar. Thanks to Oscar buzz, Hotel Rwanda continues to attract attention and audiences.

"You have to take the political events and the people and put them together into a movie that plays as a movie and works as a piece of entertainment," George said. "If you get a break and people get behind it, then, you can get an audience to see it's not a depressing movie."

 
 
 
 

 

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