Review this movie
TonyB.Mar 8, 2007A Film that tries too hard at being like honest and moving and instead falls to the hollywood stereotypes and political obsessions like so many africa-based films these days do. Entertaining, well acted, and at times powerful, but overall it comes up empty and brings little light to a done-with issue that has already been covered. A box office flop and a dull film. 3.2/10.
Although in many respects a more stylish, authentic, tougher-minded film than "Hotel Rwanda," director Michael Caton-Jones' respectable and well-intentioned Beyond the Gates (aka Shooting Dogs) still falls into the trap of filtering an inherently African story through the eyes of a noble white protagonist -- in this case, two of them.
Though hobbled by its anxious impulse to teach history to an audience that by now surely knows the basic contours of Rwanda's tragedy, the script apportions blame where it belongs (on high), while leaving smaller fry--including an admirably un-cute BBC journalist--dangling, however sympathetically, on the hook.
The greatest failure of the film, written by David Wolstencroft, is its inability to enter into the lives of the Rwandans, Tutsi and Hutu alike. The movie never moves beyond the tragic facts to show us the human face of either victims or perpetrators. All we get are white people shaking their heads and cursing Western governments.