The James Altucher Show

Ep. 158 - Terry George: Hotel Rwanda and the Art of Suffering


If I didn't listen to my pain, I'd be dead.  I've interviewed hundreds of "successful" people. When they look back, they see two things: struggle and a story. These are hero stories -- choose yourself stories. Directed by pain, they found passion. Because they listened. I was alone, on the floor, broke, desperate, hopeless.  I ignored the pain. I wanted to die. And then something shifted. But you don't need to hit rock bottom to be successful. You just need something that ignites you.  “There’s a moment, a chemistry, where people find a spark... something inside you triggers greatness,” said Terry George. He wrote and directed the award winning film, Hotel Rwanda, and the upcoming film, The Promise, about a love story during WWII’s genocide. "I'm not interested in suffering,” he says. But he is. "I'm interesting in alleviating it.” He grew up Catholic during Ireland's struggle for civil rights across a divided nation. “I got beaten up in playgrounds and shit like that. There was definitely a sense that you were not welcome to put it mildly." "That was was my education," he says.  He never thought about turning something horrific into a movie.  But that's exactly what he did. Through film, he connects us to human frailty, vulnerability and fear. He calls it “a universal language." That’s the art of suffering.