Essay on Intercultural Communication in Film: Hotel Rwanda

1489 Words Sep 30th, 2014 4 Pages
Intercultural Barriers in Film: Hotel Rwanda

Intercultural communication is “a method of communication that aims to share information across different cultures and social groups” ( The challenges that may occur during this type of communication stem from misunderstanding or lack of trust of people customs that are foreign to the listener. This can cause many barriers when trying to initiate intercultural communication. I will be discussing the film Hotel Rwanda while analyzing the different intercultural barriers and diversity issues that are presented within the film.

Hotel Rwanda was released in 2004 and based on the story of the heroic acts of Paul Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle,
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The Tutsi were seen as the more intelligent, elegant group because their height, completion, more “European” features. Due to this the colonial rulers thought the Tutsi were the superior group and treated them as such while discriminating against the Hutu; they eventually issued pass books to further divide each group. Before the Belgian colonizer left the country they put Hutu in power, causing unrest and acts of revenge, which finally led to the genocide.

The film, Hotel Rwanda, starts during the height of the unrest, the Rwandan president has just signed a peace treaty with Tutsi leaders but soon after his plane is shot down by Tutsi rebels. There are a few scenes in which intercultural communication barriers were present. In one scene UN Colonel Oliver, who is visibly upset, is sitting with Paul after meeting with the UN to ask for the world leading nations to intervene and send aid to the Tutsi refugees. The Colonel is sadly trying to explain to Paul that there will be no intervention from the western world. Telling him that the world does not care about what is going on in an African country, “You’re black” he states, “you’re not even a nigger. You’re African”. In this scene the intercultural communication, ethnocentrism is present. It seems that the Western powers feel superior to the Rwandans; they are not even worth the assistance because of the differences in culture and traditions. I feel that this made Paul feel alone in

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