It’s difficult, simply because of its subject matter, to be totally unmoved by Hotel Rwanda, the based-on-real-events account of Paul Rusesabagaina (Don Cheadle), the manger of a posh African luxury hotel who heroically sheltered Tutsis during the 1994 genocide orchestrated by the majority Hutu population. Yet more often than not, Terry George’s film proves itself incapable of honestly confronting its ugly subject matter. While Rusesabagaina’s stirring story is certainly worthy of respect and admiration, Hotel Rwanda – when not providing Cheadle with shirt-tearing moments of Oscar-baiting histrionics, or Nolte (as a sympathetic U.N. commander) with embarrassing monologues about the racist West’s indifference to the Rwandans’ plight – is ultimately a Schindler’s List treatment of the Rwandan genocide, choosing to focus on a unique example of courage and selflessness amidst tragedy rather than the grisly realities of the crisis itself. That said, even Spielberg’s film didn’t shy away from presenting a frank portrayal of Nazi atrocities. George’s film, however, refuses to even momentarily show the machete-inflicted brutality that raged throughout Rwanda, instead depicting the actual genocidal murders only once (on a grainy video!) and obscuring the repugnance of a corpse-strewn street with a shroud of fog. To not show, with blunt, uncompromising gruesomeness, the racially motivated butchery, is to whitewash what was nothing less than wholesale slaughter. By so egregiously soft-peddling what actually took place, the film dismayingly offers disingenuous, sanitized valor when it should instead be shocking and shaming us with candid, sincere visions of unfathomable horror.