At first Rusesabagina is able to cash in favors to save friends, family and refugees from the genocide raging just outside the front gates. Almost all hope is lost when one by one anyone in a position to protect his beleaguered and growing multitudes is either dead or out of the country. He discovers new found resourcefulness and barters and bribes daily for survival, beside him his last ally in the end, a haggard UN commander played adroitly by Nick Nolte.
Joaquin Phoenix appears briefly as a network cameraman who disobeys orders to venture out of his hotel safe zone to film murders occurring a half mile away despite accurately predicting that even his efforts to disseminate what is going on will no doubt result in non-action on the part of the global community and especially the West.
Interestingly, the producers, in an apparent but subtle political statement, insert excerpts of a statement by then President Bill Clinton, reassuring American citizens in Rwanda of their safety while presumably allowing the genocide of Rwandan citizens to occur with his knowledge.
One could argue anyone questioning our mission in Iraq and our current Presidents commitment of forces there should see this film to temper their judgement and contrast it with the non-efforts of his predecessor in a like-kind situation.
Hotel Rwanda has been likened to an African Schindler's List; only this film takes place in decidedly more modern times (1994) when worldwide press coverage and technology would presumably prevent such atrocities to continue unchecked. To no avail, almost a million were slaughtered. Hotel Rwanda is an excellent film that tells an important story that all should see.