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Polk State College

Hotel Rwanda

Maijer Kue

SYG 2000

Professor Cook

April 10, 2012

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Hotel Rwanda, an overall powerful and touching movie, but is there more to it

than just a movie? The best way to break this movie down and interpret it is from a

conflict theorist’s point of view. A conflict theorist is someone who believes that the

social order is greatly focused on a group or a person’s influential ability to control the

rest of society (Anderson and Taylor). “Social Order is maintained not by consensus but

by domination, with power in the hands of those with the greatest political, economic,

and social resourcing (Anderson and Taylor)”. The movie portrays this in every way;

from Georges Rutaganda being the man who Paul Rusesabagina depended on for his

resources, to ironically being enemy number one and the threat to his family.

This movie is successful in portraying socialization, which is explains how people

learn the expectations of themselves from society (Anderson and Taylor). Both the Hutu

and Tutsi were taught that they are superior to each other. The Tutsi though, were said

to be superior because they were taller with lighter skin, but because of Hutu were left in

charge, they became jealous and started to hate the Tutsi (George). This part of the

movie has many different meanings; one is that both think they are superior to one

another when in fact they are almost the same and two, that lighter skin and tallness is

the definition of beauty in their society. These roles in their culture help you understand

the fear the Tutsi are facing and the ethnocentrism the Hutu’s have throughout the

movie, though the Tutsi do display ethnocentrism, they are not the extremist in this

situation. This Ethnocentrism way of thinking lead the Hutu to kille over a million people,

most Tutsi (George).In the movie, the social conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi

seemed to be impossible to end until complete genocide was reached, but in the end

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Georges Rutaganda was imprisoned for war crimes. Though the genocide against the

Tutsi has ceased, in the world, genocide continues, so no, this problem has not been


To even better understand the film, the social structure must be broken down. In

this movie, it seem like the Hutu were on the top chain-level of command between the

two groups. Georges Rutaganda, the Hutu leader was in charge of the resources that

Paul Rusesabagina needed. Not only that, Georges Rutaganda was also a radio host,

which meant he was a person with wealth and influence on the society. He was proven

in the movie to have had the greatest influence on the attempted genocide. Paul

Rusesabagina, also a Hutu, was the assistant manager of the four star hotel and knew

influential people.

According to this movie, I did not see any of the Tutsi characters to be in the

same class category. This class difference allows for the Hutu to be the dominant group

in their society. Outside, of them are the dominant rich and white. Continuously in the

movie, the whites seemed to be in luxury, while being served by the blacks. The whites

are so privileged that they are the first to be helped. The United states president at the

time even said that he will make sure that the American Citizens are going to be safe

(George). He did not make a statement about helping the other people there at all. The

United States ignored everything. The camera man made a very interesting statement

that represented how the world was really see this problem. He said, “The world would

say, oh my God, this is horrible, and then go back to eating their dinners” (George).

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This movie is taking a stand against prejudice, hate, and injustice. In the

beginning of the movie Paul Rusesabagina seemed to be colorblind or ignoring the fact

that there is racism and that it would go away on its own (Anderson and Taylor). Later in

the movie, when Colonel Oliver told him, that they “the white super powers” thought that

Paul Rusesabagina was dirt and not even a “nigger” but an “African”, it opened his eyes

and realizes he could not be colorblind anymore. He made sure that the world, who was

ignoring this, would be shamed. This film is taking a stand against these problems. It is

showing us the harsh reality of hate and how far hate can go. The movie is supposed to

open our eyes and make us feel ashamed for ignoring these problems. If we are not

against we are promoting.

This movie does not perpetrating the justice of genocide or racism but it

promotes truth. The genocide between the Hutu and Tutsi may have ended, but there

are still so many cases around the world of people committing genocide that this

problem seems to be never ending. In comparable to Paul Rusesabagina, we are

colorblind just like him. We must wake up to reality and face these problems head on.

By ignoring the fact that there is hate and injustice in this world, and letting innocent

people die, we are promoting hate and injustice.

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Works Cited

Anderson, M. L., and H.F Taylor. Sociology: the essentials. 7th. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

George, Terry, dir. Hotel Rwanda. Lions Gate Entertainment, 2004. DVD.