The Rwandan genocide is revisited in this 2005 Toronto-reviewed drama

Beyond the Gates

on March 09, 2007 by Kevin Courrier
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Based on BBC journalist David Belton's experience in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide of the Tutsis by the extremist Hutu government, Beyond the Gates is a powerful and gripping indictment of the political indifference toward the genocide. Although it bears a strong resemblance to the searing melodrama Hotel Rwanda, it would be a shame if Beyond the Gates was overlooked because, in some ways, it's a better movie.

Beyond the Gates is about how the outlook of two very different idealists is tested. Father Christopher (John Hurt) is a priest who tends to his followers at a school that serves as a United Nations outpost. Joe (Hugh Dancy) is a young teacher who is as playful as a child (and almost as naive). When the Hutu government begins targeting Tutsis for extermination, the school becomes their haven, and the humanism of Father Christopher and Joe is challenged.

Director Michael Caton-Jones doesn't go for obvious pathos or simple outrage. He approaches the picture's theme with a documentary realism that, scene by scene, heightens the drama. It may be tempting to criticize Beyond the Gates for being a story perceived through the eyes of Westerners, but it doesn't once diminish the tragedy of Rwandans. It's a tough-minded picture that doesn't spare anyone. Distributor: IFC
Cast: John Hurt, Hugh Dancy, Dominique Horvitz and Claire-Hope Ashitey
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Screenwriter: David Wolstencroft
Producer: David Belton, Pippa Cross and Jens Meurer
Genre: Drama
Rating: R for strong violence, disturbing images and language
Running time: 114 min.
Release date: March 9, 2007 ltd

Tags: Cast, John Hurt, Hugh Dancy, Dominique Horvitz and Claire-Hope Ashitey Director: Michael Caton-Jones Screenwriter: David Wolstencroft Producer, David Belton, Pippa Cross and Jens Meurer Genre, Drama, IFC
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