Hotel Rwanda | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Hotel Rwanda

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Ten years after the Rwandan genocide that took nearly a million lives, writer-director Terry George tells the story of real-life hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, who took advantage of the UN forces guarding his four-star hotel to grant refuge to 1,268 Tutsis and Hutu moderates. George has said that Rusesabagina and his wife "shame us all by their decency and bravery," but of course moviegoers aren't in the habit of lining up at the box office to be shamed. The distinct echo of Schindler's List in Rusesabagina's story may be the only reason this movie got made, not to mention released on Christmas Eve. Yet conscience is shaped most often by example, and Don Cheadle's quiet, superbly modulated performance as an ordinary man driven to heroism by hellish events reminds us that the slogan "no justice, no peace" has a private as well as a public dimension. PG-13, 121 min. Landmark's Century Centre, River East 21.

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