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Beyond the Gates (2005)

Shooting Dogs (original title)
R | | Drama, History, War | 31 March 2006 (UK)
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1:54 | Trailer

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A Catholic priest and an English teacher get stranded in a school in Kigali during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Writers:

David Wolstencroft (screenplay), Richard Alwyn (story) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
John Hurt ... Christopher
Hugh Dancy ... Joe Connor
Dominique Horwitz ... Capitaine Charles Delon
Louis Mahoney ... Sibomana
Nicola Walker ... Rachel
Steve Toussaint ... Roland
David Gyasi ... François
Susan Nalwoga Susan Nalwoga ... Edda
Victor Power ... Julius
Jack Pierce ... Mark
Musa Kasonka Jr. Musa Kasonka Jr. ... Boniface
Kizito Ssentamu Kayiira Kizito Ssentamu Kayiira ... Pierre
Clare-Hope Ashitey ... Marie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Shepherd Tom Shepherd ... Belgian Soldier
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Storyline

In April 1994, after the airplane of the Hutu President of Rwanda is shot down, the Hutu militias slaughter the Tutsi population. In the Ecole Technique Officielle, the Catholic priest Christopher and the idealistic English teacher Joe Connor lodge two thousand five hundred Rwandans refugees, under the protection of the Belgian U.N. force, and under siege by Hutu militia. When the Tutsi refugees are abandoned by the U.N., they are murdered by the extremist militia. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What would you risk to make a difference? See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC Films | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | Germany

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

31 March 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Gates See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters are fictional, but the events are not. Parts of the film were shot at Ecole Technique Officielle (E.T.O.), a high school in Kigali, where the actual events took place. The title of the film comes from the fact that U.N. peacekeepers used to shoot local dogs that fed on the decomposing bodies of the genocide victims. See more »

Goofs

The French troops who conduct the evacuation of whites from the school appear to use Land Rover Defenders. The light transport vehicle of the contemporary French troops is the Peugeot P-4, a French-made version of the Mercedes G-Wagen. See more »

Quotes

Marie: Does God love everyone? Does he even love those men on the road outside?
Christopher: God doesn't always like everything we do. That's our choice. But he loves all his children.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the credits we are shown photographs of Rwanda genocide survivors who served as on set crew members. Next to each picture is text stating how many loved ones they lost. See more »


Soundtracks

Afrika obota
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User Reviews

 
Powerful, Touching and Human
30 November 2005 | by MrChiSee all my reviews

In 1994 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda. During this time a school comes under siege. How far would you go to help save lives? The atrocities in Rwanda went somewhat unnoticed as the world watched and winced before changing their TV channels. The UN blundered while describing the events as "acts of genocide" as opposed to the genocide it so clearly was. John Hurt and Hugh Dancy star in this powerful and touching story of hope, fear and humanity.

Set in the Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO), a high school in Kigali, John Hurt plays Christopher a priest who has seen his share of tribulations and clings to what hope he has left while Joe (Hugh Dancy) is embroiled in the horrors that unravel at the school as the hope he had begins to slide.

Michael Caton- Jones is a director who has previously delved deeply into relationships in 'This Boy's Life' and 'City by the Sea'. In Shooting Dogs his exposition of humanity is excellently portrayed in what essentially has the make up of a Hollywood horror story. As the Hutu's seize power, Tutsi's and their supporters gradually come under fire as the school is besieged and machetes dictate who lives and dies.

Despite the characters being fictionalized the events took place and what we are presented with is a powerful and truly disturbing picture as no punches are pulled and the true terrors exposed. This acts both as a wake-up call and homage to those who died and those who survived the atrocities.

Father Christopher, played by John Hurt, is the lynch pin in this nightmarish scenario. Having been weathered by a life of strain his last strands of hope are fading as the chaos descends upon his school. As usual Hurt's performances stretch beyond impeccable to a level of authenticity one could only expect from someone who was actually there. As with Joe, whose childlike naivety is broken down gradually until he becomes a shadow of his former self, contrasting Christopher. The director uses a young Tutsi girl, Maria (Claire Hope-Ashley), to introduce and somewhat narrate the proceedings as an unsteady UN-laced serenity is transformed into a time of fear and suffering. (The title comes from the fact the UN were killing dogs that fed on decomposing bodies but could never fire shots against those wielding machetes.) This is a flawless film in its delivery and character portrayal. The cast and crew were made up of survivors and those linked closely to the events so the film has already had the authenticity in its bones. Hotel Rwanda approached the subject matter from a different angle- a story about heroism. This film shares the same theme but it is the basic approach that sharpens the emotions and the human elements that set it apart from other films of this nature.

From the playful opening scenes to the carnage that ensues, the audience cannot help but be enthralled and engrossed by man's potential for good and totally disgusted by his potential for evil.


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