A survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide reveals what really went on at the famed Hôtel des Mille Collines.
In 2004, the Academy Award–nominated movie Hotel Rwanda lionized hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina for single-handedly saving the lives of all who sought refuge in the Hôtel des Mille Collines during the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. Because of the film, the real-life Rusesabagina has been compared to Oskar Schindler. In this first-person account, survivor Edouard Kayihura tells his own personal story of what life was really like during those harrowing days within the walls of that infamous hotel, and offers the testimonies of others who survived there, from Hutu and Tutsi to UN peacekeepers.
In the wake of Hotel Rwanda’s international success, the author reveals, Rusesabagina is one of today’s most well-known Rwandans—but has become the face of the very Hutu Power groups who drove the genocide. He is accused by the Rwandan prosecutor general of being a genocide negationist and funding the terrorist group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). This book exposes the Hollywood hero as a profiteering and politically ambitious Hutu Power sympathizer who extorted money from those who sought refuge, threatening to send those who did not pay to the génocidaires, despite pleas from the hotel’s corporate ownership to stop.
Inside the Hotel Rwanda is at once a harrowing memoir, a critical deconstruction of a heralded Hollywood movie, and a political analysis aimed at exposing a falsely created public image.
“This book offers a window into the real life experience of those who hid in the Hôtel des Mille Collines during the 100 days of the genocide. For those who have learned of this story only through the famous movie Hotel Rwanda, the story of Edouard Kayihura is a privileged opportunity to put reality to the Hollywood dramatization.” —Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (retired) force commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force for Rwanda between 1993 and 1994