Geography is one of the classes I teach to Beginning and Intermediate English Language Learners, and we’re just finishing up our unit on Africa (see A Beginning List Of The Best Geography Sites For Learning About Africa).
We’re studying the Rwandan genocide (see The Best Sites To Learn About Genocide In Rwanda) as part of that unit, and American University has an excellent lesson on it, including readings for small group “jigsaws.”
In addition to that lesson, students watched the movie Hotel Rwanda.
I’ve previously posted about our school’s use of AWPE Writing prompts, and decided to integrate them into this Rwanda unit. Students watched the movie yesterday, and began work on this prompt today:
What does the movie Hotel Rwanda say about courage? To what extent do you agree with the movie’s message? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, anything you have read, and scenes from the movie.
The Beginning students aren’t responding to it, but the Intermediates are working hard on it — with the support of peer tutors.
They’ll be posting their final essays at our class blog soon, so you’ll be able to see the results….
Categories: social studies, writing | Permalink
Ethical Issues In Hotel Rwanda Essay
It was unethical for the UN forces and the rest of the Western nations to disregard the Rwandan genocide. Hotel Rwanda is a film that reveals how the world watched as innocent lives were lost in Rwanda. The genocide escalated due to lack of moral values in the society, especially in the Western community.
Watching the film, Hotel Rwanda, can make one wonder how cruel the humanity can be. The film is suitable as a focal point for discussing evil because the genocide that the film is based has been widely condemned as a result of its wicked aspects. The main protagonist, Paul Rusesabagina, has been viciously awakened by the level of evil that has possessed his ethnic community. During the entire genocide, he is the only Hutu who has sympathy toward the Tutsis. With the desire to do what is morally right in the society, Paul risks his life to hide close to 1000 Tutsis in his hotel. He has to bribe the local Hutu militia leaders to protect the Tutsis, including his wife and family. Although the society regards bribery as unethical, one can consider it as a lifesaver in the film. This is because giving bribes in form of cigars is the only way Paul can save hundreds of lives. The Hutu militia leaders are so inhuman that they value cigars more than the life of a human being. These events depict the rotten nature of the society, as even human life has to be saved through corruption.
There are several ethical issues surrounding the decision by the Hutu politicians to start the genocide. It is unfair and unethical for the Hutus to blame the entire Tutsi tribe for the president’s death. The Hutu politicians are so much driven by hatred that they fail to consider the innocent lives to be lost in the planned genocide. Instead, they organize numerous Hutu militia groups, referred to as the Interhamwe, to clear the entire Tutsi community. In this case, the ethical question is whether the Hutus are justified in brutally killing their former neighbors and friends with whom they have been interacting for since time immemorial. It is apparent in the film that both the Hutus and Tutsis articulate the same language and follow similar traditions. The actions of the Hutus are evil, unjustified, and uncalled for. Consequently, Hotel Rwanda brings out genocide as a moral issue that needs to be addressed even in the current society.
When the violence in Rwanda escalates, the United Nations (UN) is keen to withdraw its peacekeeping force and does not care about the rest of the soldiers left behind. It is unethical for the UN to neglect the lives of other soldiers despite what it stands for: saving lives. The other foreign governments also send in numerous soldiers into Rwanda to assist in ending the war. However, the foreign troops also end up evacuating only their citizens, leaving the rest of the Rwandans to die. When Colonel Oliver, the leader of the UN peacekeeping force, becomes distressed over the removal of his troops from the country, he explains to Paul that...
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