If I were an Oscar voter, I would, like Roger Simon have voted for Don Cheadle for Best Actor and Sophie Okonedo for Best Supporting Actress for their work in “HOTEL RWANDA.” Had that movie been up for Best Picture, I would be rooting for it in Sunday’s ceremony.
While the movie does have a Hollywood moment toward the end, it is far from a Hollywood movie. Indeed, not since “THE PIANIST” have I seen a movie this good that is this difficult to watch. The movie highlights the heroism of Paul Rusesabagina (played by Cheadle) who, in 1994, sheltered hundreds of his fellow Rwandans in a hotel, saving many of them from almost certain slaughter by a radical Hutu militia, allied with the then-Rwandan government.
The Rwandan genocide was not spontaneous. It was organized, its intent knowable at an early stage. It is plausible, in retrospect, that a limited military intervention in Rwanda–by European or African nations–would have forestalled that genocide. Was there a moment when we could have stopped Milosevic’s militias?
Many of my fellow conservatives fault President Clinton for his failure to act, yet too few of them suggest what we could have done to stop the genocide.