Just finished watching Hotel Rwanda. Great film, Cheadle was clearly deserving of an Oscar. Everyone should see it. The core story was powerful and what Paul Rusesabagina did was amazing.
That said, a few things struck me as odd or of note.
The movie opens with Yvonna Chaka Chaka singing her remix of Umqombothi (a song I've got in my car). This is a South African song about a specific kind of beer. Then one of the main characters, a Tutsi, tries to sing along with this Zulu song inserting Kinyarwandan words. I do have to plead ignorance to whether or not Zulu pop music is listened to in Rwanda, but it did strike my wife and I as odd. That said, it is a song about beer and Paul continually uses beer to bribe the locals and the General, so it does fit thematically, but there's precious few Anglophones who would notice the parallel.
Additonally None of the main characters speaks a word of Kinyarwanda or French, even when they are alone, which also smacks as a little ingenuine. Also, a scene at the end includes a large billboard with the names and pictures of the missing children. Their names seem to be primarily composed of South African Zulu names, like Vusi or Ntombi. I know that there are Bantu influences on Rwandan culture, but I don't know how far it extends. The Bantu influence is thought to extend througout much of southern Africa. However, I figure that since the movie was filmed in South Africa that the prop folks just used the local names.
I'd be interested in a native or ex-pat Rwandan's point of view on these points. I need to dig more deeply into this stuff.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.