When the Hutu nationalists raised arms against their Tutsi countrymen in Rwanda in April 1994, the violent uprising marked the beginning of one of the darkest times in African history which resulted in the deaths of almost 800,000 people.
In April 1994, the middle-aged Canadian journalist Bernard Valcourt is making a documentary in Kigali about AIDS. He secretly falls in love for the Tutsi waitress of his hotel Gentille, who... See full summary »
A local Hutu official is persuaded to implement the government's policy against the Tutsi: To completely wipe them out. Josette, a beautiful young Tutsi girl struggles to survive the ... See full summary »
Eric Bridges Twahirwa,
A young Tutsi woman and a young Hutu man fall in love amidst chaos; a soldier struggles to foster a greater good while absent from her family; and a priest grapples with his faith in the face of unspeakable horror.
A young Englishman is sent to Malaysian Borneo in the 1930s to stay with a tribe as UK's colonial representative. A local woman (J.Alba) helps him understand local tradition and language. He falls in love with her etc. despite the taboo.
In 1990s Scotland, a group of Catholic school girls get an opportunity to go into Edinburgh for a choir competition, but they're more interested in drinking, partying and hooking up than winning the competition.
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 (Sir John Hurt) and the idealistic English teacher Joe Connor (Hugh Dancy) 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
The characters are fictional, but the events are not. Parts of this movie were shot at Ecole Technique Officielle (E.T.O.), a high school in Kigali, where the actual events took place. The title of this movie 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 »
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 »
Does God love everyone? Does he even love those men on the road outside?
God doesn't always like everything we do. That's our choice. But he loves all his children.
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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 »
A "clean language version" of the film was released on DVD in 2007. See more »
Many people will compare this to last years "Hotel Rwanda," and say that much of it is just the same thing again, and naturally, they will claim it to be less a film than its predecessor. However, let me state now, this is the movie that 'Hotel Rwanda' wanted to be; was too timid to be; absolutely needed to be and wasn't. I had a problem with 'Hotel Rwanda.' My problem? It didn't do the true events justice, and was too toned down. "Shooting Dogs" does not shy away from the violence; it embraces it and serves it to us as it needed to be. Far too many people know far too little about the Rwandan Genocide because they were too busy watching the OJ Simpson trial. And far too many Americans are unaware of the role their government played in it. They could have stopped it by admitting it was genocide. Instead they danced the verbal line and vetoed the UN.
Here is a rare film that could have had marginal acting and with any other plot been a stinker, and yet because of its powerful message would have gotten a pass from me. Thankfully, everything is in the right place. John Hurt does a great job as Father Christopher, and Hugh Dancy is fantastic as Joe, a young idealistic teacher at the old priest's school. The extras, many of whom were survivors of the genocide, are all very credible as well. Another thing is that this movie was actually shot in Rwanda. This provides that old "voodoo of location" that Werner Herzog is so fond of. The school and the city are not and should not be backgrounds. They are characters in their own right.
As mentioned, the film does not shy away from violence. The violence is horrifying while still not being horror show gory. There is not necessarily much blood here, but there is hacking. Even without the deaths on screen, it still went further than 'Hotel Rwanda' did by showing the bodies everywhere all the time, and was not afraid to show the hacked bodies of children, and even show them dying. Some might say this is too macabre. To those people I say wake up to the ways of the world. Stand up and take notice and stop your moaning. If you ignore it happens then you do nothing productive in preventing it. The film also does something that most films don't do today - show the church in a positive light. This is not a Christian themed movie or anything like that, but it is a film of love. And the priest loves the people in his school, and so says he that even though his children do wrong, God still loves them, and so he suffers with them.
The horror of the Rwandan Genocide is on full display in 'Shooting Dogs.' And while I have hacked on 'Hotel Rwanda' in this review, it is a movie that I still admired very much. It made a compromise according to its makers so that it could be seen by younger viewers. This is admirable, but sometimes when you compromise you weaken your product and this is what I feel happened. 'Shooting Dogs' picks up the slack, and you really should see both films, along with a third, 'Sometimes in April.' This movie is deeply affecting, and has a deeply important message. There is love everywhere in the world, even in chaos. Often you don't realize it is there until conflict arises. 'Shooting Dogs' is one of the best movies of the year, and its unfortunate that so few have seen it.
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