Polk State College
Maijer Kue SYG 2000 Professor Cook April 10, 2012
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 theorists point of view. A conflict theorist is someone who believes that the social order is greatly focused on a group or a persons 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 Hutus 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
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 resolved. 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).
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.
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.