Culture and Beliefs in “Hotel Rwanda” Essay

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Traditionally, a given society comprises of individuals who share comparable pursuits and ideologies (Hayward, 2008). These interests had been primarily guided by the language, culture and beliefs of a given neighborhood. However, with modernization, the composition of modern society has changed drastically.

Most contemporary societies comprise of people from different ethnic groups. While this composition is favorable for the growth and improvement of the society, ethnic tension is usually present. In the United States, ethnic rigidity between the white and the coloured communities has been current for several centuries. The similar trend is current in African communities where ethnic variations are current between members of various tribes.

This paper will thus give attention to ethnic differences and the ethics of safeguarding the household and the neighborhood at giant on account of ethnic tension and violence. To notice its objectives, this paper will use the Kantian moral principle to critically analyze the film, “Hotel Rwanda”, that dramatized the genocide Rwanda faced in 1994 because of ethnic variations between its two primary ethnic teams.

Ethics of Safeguarding the Family and the Community

The family is taken into account as the basic unit of the society. In most societies, it’s the role of the man to provide for his household and ensure that it’s safe from any threats (Pojman, 2000). Mr. Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu, was too acquainted with this role especially given the political rigidity that was present in Rwanda after the Tutsi rebels sparked a civil war between 1990 and 1993.

While the then president of Rwanda is anticipated to sign a peace settlement with the Tutsi rebels, the Hutus, who are the bulk, have been mobilizing themselves beneath a militia group often known as Interhamwe who slowly begin to assault the Tutsi inhabitants all across Rwanda (Gourevitch, 1998). The scenario gets worse after the president’s aircraft is shot down resulting to his demise and the Interhamwe rapidly blame the attack on Tutsi rebels. This sparks violence all throughout the nation resulting within the death of close to 1 million Tutsis (Dallaire and Power, 2004).

While several ethical theories current themselves on this film, the Kantian moral concept can be utilized to best explain the actions of the agent (Paul) and the difficulty the film is attempting to describe. The Kantian concept is predicated on categorical imperative, a concept that is used to explain the supreme principle of morality in any given societal setting (Attfield, 2013).

In accordance to this principle, there are different means via which the categorical imperative may be described. The first strategy is thru the universal regulation formulae during which individuals are expected to act and conduct themselves in a fashion that can be universally utilized to others without inflicting hurt (Attfield, 2013). This is consistent with the common saying of, ‘do to others what you count on to be accomplished to you.’ The software of this law is to maintain an ethical normal across the society as regards to our actions.

The second method of the specific crucial is through the precept of humanity. In accordance to this principle, people should always deal with others as ends and never as means of achieving something (Schweitzer, 2013). In this respect, we should worth other individuals and treat them in a selfless method that will lead to mutual benefit and societal growth and not in a egocentric manner to attain personal achieve.

From the onset of the film, it’s evident that Paul is seeking favors from military generals, tourists, and diplomats who frequent the hotel the place he works. The main purpose of doing this is to create good relations with these people who have affect throughout the Rwandan government simply in case his family or himself is in dire want for help.

From an moral perspective, it is clear that Paul is prepared to go to any extent to guard his family particularly given the truth that he is married to a Tutsi woman. This reality places his household at excessive threat given the political rigidity that is present in the nation at the time. In the scene the place his Tutsi neighbor is confronted, overwhelmed, and arrested by the Rwandan army, Paul watches from a distance and refused to take any motion although he might assist him given the connections that he had.

He makes it clear to his wife that his household comes first. By analyzing Paul’s motion at this juncture, it is evident that he’s acting in opposition to the common legislation formulae since he isn’t treating his neighbors in a way that he would need other individuals to treat him. However, after considering the prevailing circumstances, Paul’s decision to act in this method is justified since he has the sole mandate of first safeguarding his household.

However, Paul’s mandate of safeguarding his family drastically changes to safeguarding the community after violence broke our due to the assassination of the president. When he reaches residence, he finds that his Tutsi neighbors are looking for refuge in his home. At this level, Paul makes use of any means needed together with bribing an army basic to ensure that all the refugees who have been at his residence safely arrive at the Hotel the place he works.

Paul could have easily abandoned the refugees and save his family alone however his conscious and morals drove him to use any means attainable to avoid wasting all the refugees. This is according to the principle of humanity where Paul treats all of the refugees as ends and not as means.

With time, Paul finds himself dealing with over 1000 refugees from ethnicities and races and to ensure their security, he makes use of all the connections that he has to ensure their security. In the top, he manages to soundly lead these refuges behind Tutsi rebel strains. It is through his braveness, selflessness and the connections that has that allows Paul to save lots of his family and different refugees via the civil struggle that resulted in the dying of over 1 million individuals.


This film clearly portrays the challenges that Paul confronted and the moral choices he had to make to make sure the safety of his family and the community at giant. Racism and ethnicity are one of many biggest moral problems we are presently dealing with within the trendy society. If we will apply the concepts of the Kantian principle, we are able to significantly get rid of these vices and stay in harmony irrespective of our ethnic background, gender or race. This will make the world a better place and also will play a major position in social and economic improvement.


Attfield, R. (2013). The Ethics of Environmental Concern. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Dallaire, R. and Power, S. (2004). Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. New York: Sage.

Gourevitch, P. (1998). We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. New York: Reed Business Inc.

Hayward, T. (2008). Political Theory and Ecological Values. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Pojman. L. (2000). Global Environmental Ethics. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company.

Schweitzer, A. (2013). Civilization and Ethics. London: A & C Black Publishers.





Type Essay
Pages 4
Words 1089

Film Studies
Language 🇺🇸 English

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