I don't know about you, but I get all my history and current events from the movies. Okay, that isn't exactly true, and I never trust or believe that Hollywood is 100% accurate with its dramatizations of true stories, but I will admit that I unfortunately absorb the "facts" presented in films a lot more than I do through viable sources. And I'm pretty sure that much of the world is the same or worse when it comes to believing what they see. Hotel Rwanda is one of those films that presents a real event previously unknown to a majority of Americans and serves as educator for them. Now it seems that everything the masses learned from the film might be incorrect.

Two years after the film's release, Hotel Rwanda is being disputed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who claims that the film tries to rewrite the history of his country's 1994 genocide. The main events of the film happened, but Kagame denies the heroism of Paul Rusesabagina, who was played in the film by Don Cheadle. He says that Rusesabagina's involvement was merely an accident and the U.N. forces are the real saviors of the refugees at Hôtel des Mille Collines. In terms of dramatic entertainment, this may not seem like a big deal, but considering the ignorance of many moviegoers, it is fair for Kagame and other Rwandans to be upset.

Now is the chance for Hollywood to get it right, I guess. The other day I reported on another Rwandan genocide movie called Shake Hands With the Devil. Based on the book by Romeéo Dallaire, which includes the shelter of and transfer from the Mille Collines but never mentions Rusesabagina, this film could get the story straight with Kagame if it wants to. My guess is that director Roger Spotiswoode will stick to the account of Dallaire alone and not get involved with other witnesses and survivors, but it is also my guess that Dallaire doesn't mess around with the truth too much.
categories Movies, Cinematical