Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hotel Rwanda

Hotel Rwanda takes place during a time of turmoil, where social strife has lead to the point of genocide. It is after the Belgian colonists have left Rwanda, leaving the Hutus and the Tutsis to do their own bidding. The Hutus and Tutsis are both Rwandans, the only difference is that the Tutsis are people that were chosen by the Belgian colonists to maintain control in Rwanda. They were simply chosen by physical appearance, whether it was because they had lighter skin or because they had a narrower nose. Using the Tutsis the maintain control of the population, the Belgians maintained power, and once the Belgian colonists left, the Hutus felt the Tutsis were traitors and had to be exterminated.

The ex-colonized in this case are represented by these two social classes, the Hutus, who are the majority of the population, and the Tutsis, who are the small minority that were in power. Once the Belgians left, the Tutsis are left with no real power behind them, allowing the Hutus take power and do as they please. The movie follows the main protagonist, Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu hotel manager, who manages to shelter Tutsi refugees in his hotel, as they are being hunted down and killed by the Hutus.

Immediately after the colonizers are gone, a power struggle begins between two social classes, as the Tutsi rebel faction attempts to fight off the Hutus who are in power, mainly because of their large population. As the fighting escalates, all people who are not Rwandan, mainly whites, are being evacuated by the U.N., at the same time no help is given the people who are being oppressed. Once the Belgians have left, no western power is willing to fill in the empty void left by them. Even the U.N. was unwilling to help evacuate the innocent victims of Rwandan civil war.

This empty gap of power, left by Belgians, is possibly one of the main factors of the social strife. One might argue that Rwanda would’ve been better off if the Belgian continued their colonization, but if they were, the Hutus would still be under their oppressive rule. However, if Belgian rule were never to be, then the two social classes would not have existed. The Tutsis were created out of random picking through physical appearance; therefore the Tutsis are no different from the Hutus.

1 comment:

  1. Nice points--bolstering it with some theory would have helped focus your reader's attention on the key points (that these are things caused by colonization, that in many ways even the perpetrators are victims, that power imbalances reproduce themselves over and over again even when the original dominant group leaves). Much of that is here, but you'd more effectively reach a reader unfamiliar with our class if you highlighted the issues by connecting them to the theory.