When you first read the back of this DVD case for this film, you immediately think this is going to be another Hotel Rwanda, with its graphics scenes and emotion throughout Shooting Dogs takes a different look at the Rwandan civil war and tells a story of a teacher who wanted to make a difference. The film is based on the war fought by two differnt tribes in Rwanda.
It was a civil war that became a genocide, the civil war had been between the Hutu Tribe and the Tutsi Tribe. In 1994, over 800, 000 people died over the course of 100 days. It had turned into a war where families were torn apart and many in hiding, amongst all this atrocoties many believed that God was with them. The hutus dominated them tutsies with guns and machetes. With the support of the french the Hutu tribe massacred many Tutsies rebels unmercifully and with no remorse.
Like Hotel Rwanda there is a lot of emotion in this film and you do feel empathy for the characters, with Shooting Dogs it seems to be different. There is more understanding for these chracters. Shooting Dogs allows you to grow with these characters and almost become their friends, so to speak. Then whilst the characters are going through their horrible ordeal knowing what will happen at the end you almost weep, literally. The story starts when they find out that the airplane of the Hutu President of Rwanda is shot down. So then the Tutsi population flee from their homes in fear oh the Hutu militia. They all take refuge in the school of the Catholic Priest Christopher and Joe Connor who teaches there. Priest Christopher is played by John Hurt and Joe Connor is played by Hugh Dancy.
The first rwandan characters you meet are Marie (Clare-Hope Ashitey) a girl who loves running she goes to the school and you get an in-sight into her family. You see her father coming to the school to pick her up, during the film when problems escalate her mother gives birth in the school. Whilst this scene was playing in the film it made me think the kind of hope it gives the rwandans when God works in mysterious ways. God has given the gift of life and the family have fortunately been able to witness first hand, amidst these atrocoties where they face uncertain death.
John Hurt does a brilliant job of portraying such a diverse character and sometimes contradictory. He is a priest who wants to find peace within this war, although hard to find he is persistent with his quest. The shows in his diligence to do mass everyday the same time. The teacher is also a different character who is trying to find a solution where there is’nt any. He is a teacher who has not experienced this kind of disaster his emotions start to unfold. His character then starts to mature very quickly and understand what is actually happening and it is not clean cut as it appears to be.
This film is very good in my opinion and is definitely a film that really depicts what happened in Rwanda. Many of the people who lost family or fought the war against the Tutsi, also helped to make this film possible. Rwanda have done very well to come over these incidents and also remember the people they lost.