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A Question of Race in Hotel Rwanda

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Hotel Rwanda was a 2h and 2 min movie released to the public eye on December 22, 2004. This filmed showed viewers a sociological problem dealing with racism within groups that lived, eat, breath and bathed on the same land. The move featured cruel and punishable by death actions involving two groups. One being of peace and willful kindness, another whose minds are shaped into hate and carrying out acts of genocide. Outside allied forces joined in to keep what little peace the country has had, however good news and bad blend so well in this movie it is hard at first to see a silver lining.

Paul Rusesabagina our main character is played by Don Cheadle, a Hutu who is married to a Tutsi wife Tatiana Rusesabagina, played by Sophie Okonedo. Paul owns a hotel in Rwanda, the Hotel des Millie Collines is a place of prestige for the ones in power, tourist, and the whites of their country. Money flourished enough for Paul and his friend Dube, played by Desmond Dube another Tutsi as well, to get supplies they need from Hutu protagonist George Rutaganda. In the beginning of the movie we get a glimpse of what is happening within the movie. On the radio a man speaks to the Hutu’s calling the Tutsis “cockroaches” the issue itself he describes stems from history, not his but past saying that the Tutsi’s joined the Berlin rebels beating the Hutus out of powers, the radio gives those Hutu’s a willful power to want to get rid of the Tutsi, the man even signs off saying “This is Hutu power radio.” Mr. Rusesabagina is displayed as a somewhat known Hutu and his supplier George gives him the opportunity in scenes after the radio to join the Hutus, he states something that if missed doesn’t allow you to grasp the full intent of what the Hutus intend to do. He says to Paul “Politics is power, Hutu power and money.” After a few seconds we see his machetes bought from China fall on the ground when one of his worker mistakes it for beer showing that he has an intent to display that Hutu power. Dube shows his concern saying that George is a dangerous man, a man bent on killing the Tusti with his group of Hutus militia who bear the names Interahamwe. Paul brushes off the matter letting Dube know that soon George’s power will cease to exist. The movie portrays this as a false lie, for if the views look closely they will see Georges picture in the Hutu rally as well as children holding guns to display their involvement.

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The UN believes that the Rwandan General has been training Hutu’s for this cleansing they have yet to display and as an act of trying to calm the region down, the president says his is signing a treaty to stop this terrorist group from their uprising. Tomas warns Paul of a code “Cut the tall Trees” a code telling the Militia to go to war, Paul ensure his friend to not fear, however on the ride back home we see what little chaos has sparked the fire the film maker has yet to unleash. Paul finds all his Tutsi neighbors in his house, hiding from the Hutu militia, when day comes Paul here’s our antagonist George with his call to his militia saying “The cockroaches have killed our president, it is time now good Hutu’s to cut the tall trees, cut the tall trees now!” The film maker creates more suspense as the soldiers gather around Paul’s house to help with the cleansing of these cockroaches. Paul’s role is established at this point as he is our star Hutu that helps the Tutsi’s by using his Hotel to help rebels and innocents from the militia. As their food and supplies run short Paul asks for help through his connections. His help comes from the general and the President of Sesabagina. Paul balances his employees with threats and stern reinforcement to help keep the hotel and his refugees in safety.

Paul creates another enemies amongst his midst with one of his co-workers who does not take a liking to his help of the Tutsi’s. Gregwa threatens Paul saying that he notices a smell of cockroaches in hotel and he knows those who can cleanse it. Paul begins to get overwhelmed, in the search for his brother’s daughters and the intake of refugees being placed in the hotel. Scenes tend to get more cruel and gruesome as the plot thickens and the director shows us the world outside of the Hotel, the Hutus killing millions and wiping them out with no regret. Paul goes to find food from George, his success is cut short after having a conversation with George who believes that he can cleanse Rwanada of the Tutsi and he is already hallway there. He gives Paul direction down a road of horror’s, Paul thinks that Gergwa has run off the road when in fact the road was covered full of Tutsi bodies. This scene allows our minds to be plagued by how serious this social conflict between Hutu power and Tutsi power really is, and that this country is thrown into chaos and the UN cannot help at the moment. The movie continues with the French and the Berlin refuse to recuse the refugees, however Paul looks upon the help of his members and refugees to help save them all, and help is sent at the cost of Gregwa in his attempts to stop the cockroaches from escaping. Giving word to the Hutu militia to stop them from escaping, Paul enlist the aid of General Bizimungu taking charge and telling him that if he does not help the U.S will charge him as a war criminal. BIzmungu helps Paul and the UN gets him and his family across Tutsi rebel army lines, the movie ends giving us facts about the aftermath of the chaotic situation.

The sociological conflict from the synapse of this movie is race and the title upon which you are born. Conflict theorist would view this ethnic cleansing as a way to clear the rage and hate the Hutus had, giving rise maybe to a new president or allowing the help of the UN to display the faults within Hutu power. If the movie did rely purely upon the conflict theorists perspective then Paul would have likely joined his brothering in the chaos and killed his family if the movie twisted fate in such a way, this conflict was based on the belief of people no society as a whole due to the fact that there were some Hutus not known about that may have helped the conflict simmer down, for now though Paul Rusesabagina our hero of the 1994 issue in Rwanda will not be forgotten as long as this movie exist


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