Home > Free Essays > Art > Film Studies > The Movie “Hotel Rwanda”

The Movie “Hotel Rwanda” Analytical Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: May 7th, 2019


Hotel Rwanda is an American film that was produced in 2004 by Terry George. It is based on the events that took place in Rwanda in 1994 when the country faced a serious problem related to genocide.

Don Cheadle is presented as a proprietor of the hotel who endeavours to liberate his fellow citizens from effects of the genocide. The movie is referred to as the African schindler’s list. Nick Nolte and Sophie Okonedo are some of the main characters in the movie who play critical roles. Rusesabagina tries to save the lives of close family members, as well as other refugees.

Over a thousand refugees face different problems, as they do not have the means of travelling to secure places. Rusesabagina houses the refugees in a hotel by providing them with basic needs, such as food and clothing. The movie talks about the genocide that claimed the lives of close to a million people in Rwanda. Moreover, it highlights some of the problems that led to the massacre.

During the war, corruption and heightened ethnicity were some of the major problems that faced people since they had to save their loved ones. Finally, the movie looks at the consequences of the war whereby the producer claims that the country experienced a variety of crises just after the genocide since mistrust and hatred was so intense.


The movie shows that tension between the two warring communities in Rwanda led to a large-scale war that shocked the whole world. The Hutus and the Tutsis engaged in armed conflict after a very long time of peace. The producer wonders why communities could rise against each other after living together for several centuries.

Before the war, corruption and bribery characterized the behaviour of many politicians. Rusesabagina was a Hutu while his wife was a Tutsi yet they lived peacefully for several years. During the war, Rusesabagina had problems convincing the Tutsis that he was supporting them.

Moreover, the Hutu extremists never trusted him since he was suspected of leaking critical information to the Tutsis. Rutaganda is presented as Rusesabagina’s friend who supplied goods to the hotel. Moreover, the supplier was the leader of Interahamwe, an organization that was formed specifically to exterminate the Tutsis. Rutaganda had problems with Rusesabagina since the hotel owner hosted the Tutsis.

Rusesabagina became helpless as tension between the two communities worsened. He witnessed the killing of his neighbours, as well as friends, but he did nothing. The situation exacerbated, which forced Rusesabagina to intervene by engaging in corruption and bribery to save his close friends and relatives.

He gave money to the Hutu extremists in order to spare his relatives. He did everything under his power to save his family. His behaviour was noticed after playing tricks for several weeks, something that attracted the attention of the army. He was warned not to prevent the Hutu militias from executing their assigned duties.

He decided to take his relatives to the hotel since they would be save there. As the situation worsened, many refugees joined Rusesabagina’s family at the hotel. The huge number of refugees overwhelmed the camp at the United Nations offices to an extent that the UN agencies could no longer support. The Red Cross and the orphanage homes were also unable to provide adequate help to refugees because of the increasing numbers.

Rusesabagina had several responsibilities, including diverting the attention of the Hutu militias, taking care of the refugees in terms of providing basic needs, providing leadership to the family and other refuges, and managing the affairs of the hotel. This was a challenging moment in the life of Rusesabagina since very many people relied on him for guidance.

The international community could not act effectively because of poor coordination and lack of cooperation from the government. The UN head of peace operations, Colonel Oliver (Nolte), failed to stop the genocide since the international law did not allow the UN to intervene militarily.

Employees of the diplomatic missions in the country were evacuated to safer places as the war entered a critical stage. All foreign nationals were advised to leave the country since the situation had become volatile. Unfortunately, the United Nations did nothing to salvage the lives of the Rwandese.

The Hutu militias were well organized since they understood the operations of the United Nations very well. When peacekeepers tried to evacuate Rusesabagina’s family from the hotel, they were ambushed and were forced to go back. Rusesabagina pleaded with the military generals to help him evacuate the family, but this did not work out. Corruption and bribery did not work as the war intensified.

Rusesabagina was unable to bribe the military, something that forced him to change the strategy. He convinced the military generals to take him for trial as a war criminal only for his family to be safe. Finally, the military generals allowed the UN forces to evacuate his family in a convoy.

Realistic Intergroup Conflict Theory

The theory observes that conflicts happen because of contradictory interests among groups. This means that various groups will always compete for resources in society, which results to serious problems, such as the ones witnessed in Rwanda.

In the Movie, the Hutus accused the Tutsis of controlling the state resources yet the majority of societal members were languishing in great poverty. Realistic group theory is always utilized in explaining tension among groups. Scholars supporting the theory are of the view that conflicts are usually rational given the fact that groups have varying interests, which are generally incompatible.

In many cases, competition is the order of the day whereby groups play a zero-sum game meaning that the loss of one group is the benefit of the other. Even though the theory applies to groups, it is as well used to explain individual interests. Realistic scholars are of the view that individual interests will always guide people hence an individual will act in a manner that would fulfil his interest in any relationship. One of the major tenets of the theory is rationality.

Rationality suggests that an individual uses logic when interpreting an event or when acting. The theory explains a conflict in economic terms meaning that people are simply interested in fulfilling their economic ambitions. In fact, many conflicts in the world are always related to resource distribution or allocation. The theory posits that human beings are selfish and will always aspire to maximize their profits.

The theory confirms that what is best for an individual might not be necessarily be the best for the group. The individual accepts to be part of the group just in case he notices that his or her interests will be fulfilled. Some of the individual interests cannot be fulfilled without forming groups.

Therefore, individuals develop a sense of consciousness to realize their dreams. An individual is always willing to be a member of the group even if the group is illegal. However, research shows that individual interests might sometimes be in conflict with group interests, but the relationship between the two is inescapable. For the case of Rwanda, Hutus noticed that they could realize their dreams by joining hands to exterminate the Tutsis.

The problem started when colonialists subdivided the country into various spheres of influence. Since colonialists had no numbers that would allow them to rule, they collaborated with local communities that embraced Christianity. They also formed strong relationships with minorities, such as the Tutsis. The Tutsi utilized this opportunity to accumulate wealth, which rendered the Hutus poor.

The situation worsened when the colonial power surrendered power since the Tutsis controlled all major investments in the country. When opportunities presented themselves, all Hutus were willing to take part in exterminating the Tutsis since they had made them poor. Realistic theory would explain this scenario based on the economic situation of the Hutus. The only way to regain their lost glory was to eliminate all Tutsis and inherit their wealth.

In Germany, Hitler applied the same strategy to see off the Jews who had become a menace in the economy. Forcing Jews to live in the concentration camps was rationally justified, but it was not justice. Similarly, killing the Tutsis was rational as far as the interests of the Hutus were concerned. Realistic group theory explains the conflicts presented in the movie based on economic matters.

This analytical essay on The Movie “Hotel Rwanda” was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Analytical Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, May 7). The Movie "Hotel Rwanda". Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/hotel-rwanda-2/

Work Cited

"The Movie "Hotel Rwanda"." IvyPanda, 7 May 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/hotel-rwanda-2/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Movie "Hotel Rwanda"." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/hotel-rwanda-2/.


IvyPanda. "The Movie "Hotel Rwanda"." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/hotel-rwanda-2/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "The Movie "Hotel Rwanda"." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/hotel-rwanda-2/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Movie "Hotel Rwanda"'. 7 May.

More related papers
Psst... Stuck with your
assignment? 😱
Psst... Stuck with your assignment? 😱
Do you need an essay to be done?
What type of assignment 📝 do you need?
How many pages (words) do you need? Let's see if we can help you!