Film & Theater Studies

Hotel Rwanda


When the Rwanda conflict hit the land and the aggressors took the weapons they knew best to finish off the agitators, nobody knew there would be so much bloodshed and animosity. No one thought that the politicians who had propagated the clashes would abandon the people who they pretended to support. The children were left without homes, husbands without wives and a country without its one tribe. However, one man drawn by his own conviction decided to save his family and give them a reason to live. In his quest to save his family, he ended saving a big population of the Rwandese people.

Tatiana encouraged her husband to stand in the gap for her family. She convinced him to rescue a multitude of desperate Rwandese trying to find a shelter against the angry mob who wanted to kill them. Hurt by the silence of the world and the death of the minority tribe in Rwanda, he opened the doors of his five stars hotel to other Rwandese desperate to grip on life like him. Once they were safe in the hotel, he found a way to distract the angry mob from the hotel so that they could not get to his family and the other refugees. He used his position and power and with passion, sought to prove the political menace wrong. The ethnic cleansing was propagated by people who thought they would have the land after the Tutsi were gone.

In the film, Hutu must balance between his tribe and people who find his wife unfit for him because she is from another tribe. The political temperature rises and people begin to take cover. He is lucky because they are not looking for him because of his tribe. More refugees begin to stream to his hotel from the UN camps where they claim that the militia groups can find their way. He finds ways to divert the groups from his hotel to be able to give hope to so many people counting on him especially his dear wife. The UN had been crippled by the lack of support from the headquarters. Life in the hotel was not interesting because it was crowded and they had to stay in one place where they would not attract attention.


The movie is a summary of the content learnt in class. The area covered on government control that is not up to the task of protecting its own people as being irresponsible and author of the plight of its people. The conflict in Rwanda was brought by politicians who had an agenda that they wanted to achieve for their own selfish gains. They began to preach hate speeches to their tribes telling them that the Hutu had taken away the cream of their land. The politicians trained young men and provided them with weapons to attack the Hutu to claim what they had taken from them (Hatzfeld, 2005). The politicians stood aside to watch their plan hatch into success. The fight began and several Hutus were killed. The Hutu then realized that the group meant to do more harm than it appeared. They got prepared, secured some weapons and stroke them with an intention of wiping-out the entire population. The structure of the government had been handed over from the colonialists who were Belgium. Belgium was still in chaos and this gave a way for evil politicians to organize mass action.

The idea of civil liberties to the hands of the people had not been achieved up until the Belgians had left the country. This paved way for the conflict and it was clear from the agitated youth who felt they had to fight for it by doing all sorts of evil. They burnt people alive in their houses. In some places, they beheaded people and displayed the heads as a sign of their victory. They raped women and dragged them for long distances to kill them. By this time, most people had run away from their homes and they now stayed in the churches and the UN camps (Prunier, 1997). The Hutu continued to pursue them and killed them in the camps. They later set one of the churches ablaze and killed so many Tutsi who had gone to find shelter in the church. They were mainly women and children who were tired of running and had nowhere else to go. They closed the doors to the church, poured petrol all around the building, and set it a blaze? Screaming and the picture of fear were heard all over but the merciless militia group could hear none of it. They stayed and watched as the building’s last pillars burned to the ground.

The content of the movie was biased because it shows the plight of Tutsi as they fled from the militia group and one man who believed in justice trying to save their lives. However, it does not show what injustice the Tutsi had committed against the Hutu when they were in collaboration with the Belgians during the colonial period (Berry, 1999). They had killed so many that Hutu had stopped counting and started staging their death. The killings were as the result of revenge of wrongs done in the past. The militia group not waiting to find out how much damage they had done continued with their vengeance seeking to get the privileges of their land from them. The war got tough and the smoke went to higher heights.

The movie showed enough evidence to show the result of the conflict because it shows the dead bodies lying lifelessly on the ground that were later to be buried in a mass grave. This is because their relatives were not there to claim their bodies. The mass grave is still there in Rwanda and serves as a monument to celebrate there lives. The presence of human skeletons of people, who burnt or were beaten to death in the movie, shows how serious the deaths had been and the extent of the genocide in the country.

The author of the movie was not qualified to have produced the movie because he depended on the narration of other people who had been there to tell the story. The movie should have been told by Rwandese a person who has first hand information of what it was like to be in the country. This movie lost the real impact of the genocide (Jonassohn, and Chalk, 1998). The movie was meant to show how much Paul did to save the dying men and women but the real conflict and the impact of the genocide was not achieved.

Lessons learnt from the movie are that the world comes to the rescue of people and countries under conflict if they know they will get something in return. This is because in the case of Rwanda, there were signs that the conflict was building up but the outside world ignored. The then UN chair in the country had sent a distress call back to the UN headquarters to inform of the plight of the Rwandese. The call was ignored, no help was sent inform of either supplies or peacekeepers to curb the war. They all kept a distance as the killings continued. The country soon began to sweep everybody they thought was a Tutsi. His intentions were good, to get the world to open their eyes. When all theses killings were taking place, the politicians who had started the conflict fled the country and left innocent people dying. With the hope to come back so that they could inherit the positions the Tutsi had left as is common with most African countries.

The second lesson learnt is that lack of a structured government that is not in too much control or too little in control is the most ideal. The people should also be in control to check its functionality as far as achieving their objective as a society is concerned. The government is also to be regularly evaluated to ensure that they are in the right path. Civil liberties are not to be ignored to make sure that the people do not feel exploited or used in their own country. The presence of agitation in the country should be taken to mean that something is wrong and people are not happy with the governance advance to them and should be addressed before the problem takes another shape. This had been clear in the Rwanda case (Beezley and Lorey, 2002). The conflict was avoidable and the deaths were uncalled for because the UN had the capacity to stop the killings but they packed and left when the country was in distress. Before the killings, there had been warnings. There had been flyers left for some community to flee the country. The political temperature had changed and there were all the signs to show that a war was on the making.


Works Cited

Beezley, William and Lorey, David. Genocide, Collective Violence, and Popular Memory: The Politics of Remembrance in the Twentieth Century. Wilmington: Del. SR Books, 2002. Print.

Berry, John. Genocide in Rwanda: A Collective Memory. Washington, DC: Howard Univ. Press, 1999. Print.

Hatzfeld, Jean. Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak a Report. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. Print.

Jonassohn, Kurt and Chalk, Frank. The History and Sociology of Genocide: Analyses and Case Studies. New Haven: Yale University Press in cooperation with the Montreal institute for genocide studies, 1998. Print.

Prunier, Gérard. The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. Print.

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