Shooting Dogs

Shooting Dogs, released in the United States as Beyond the Gates, is a 2005 film, directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring John Hurt, Hugh Dancy and Clare-Hope Ashitey. It is based on the experiences of BBC news producer David Belton, who worked in Rwanda during the Rwandan genocide. Belton is the film's co-writer and one of its producers.

Shooting Dogs
Shooting dogs.jpg
Promotional movie poster
Directed byMichael Caton-Jones
Produced byDavid Belton
Pippa Cross
Jens Meurer
StarringJohn Hurt
Hugh Dancy
Clare-Hope Ashitey
Music byDario Marianelli
Adirondack Pictures
BBC Films
UK Film Council
Invicta Capital
Filmstiftung NRW
Crossday Productions
Egoli Tossell Films
Distributed byMetrodome Distribution (United Kingdom)
IFC Films (United States)
Release date
  • 2005 (2005)
Running time
115 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom

The setting of the film is the École Technique Officielle (ETO) in Kigali, Rwanda, in 1994, during the Rwandan genocide. Hurt plays a Catholic priest (loosely based on Vjekoslav Ćurić[1]) and Dancy an English teacher, both Europeans, who are caught up in the events of the genocide.

Unlike Hotel Rwanda, which was filmed in South Africa using South African actors, the film was shot in the original location of the scenes it portrays. Also, many survivors of the massacre were employed as part of the production crew and minor acting roles.

The film's title refers to the actions of UN soldiers in shooting at the stray dogs that scavenged the bodies of the dead. Since the UN soldiers were not allowed to shoot at the Hutu extremists who had caused the deaths in the first place, the shooting of dogs is symbolic of the madness of the situation that the film attempts to capture.

Cast (credited)Edit


Critical responseEdit

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 84% based on 63 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Complex, human characters and on-location shooting give Beyond the Gates palpable tension and urgency."[2] In The Guardian critic Rob Mackey wrote: "If you didn't know the story, you might expect the film to develop into a nice little culture-clash comedy… Shooting Dogs boasts a real location: the school in Kigali where a nightmare played itself out." In The New Statesman Victoria Segal wrote: "Shooting Dogs was shot in Kigali and the geography plays a significant role in generating stark fear: the oddly deserted streets, the bodies in the undergrowth, the humidity and dust. It is full of prickling moments of evil…"


1 win Heartland Film Festival 2006 Grand Prize for Dramatic Feature

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, Amid genocide in Rwanda, one man stands tall
  2. ^ "Beyond the Gates (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes (Fandango). Retrieved 24 March 2018.

External linksEdit