"Absolutely and unequivocally, you must see Shooting Dogs."
-a new review of Shooting Dogs from PlayLouder.com
A film about Rwandan genocide was never going to be laugh a minute, but director Michael Caton-Jones takes a difficult subject and brings us a film of some magnitude, packed with moving and sensitive performances. Hugh Dancy plays a young teacher in a Rwandan school who encounters first hand the resentment and aggression towards the Tutsi by the Hutu tribe, but at first he doesn't take it too seriously - not until mayhem breaks out and people start getting senselessly butchered. At first the people within the school are protected by UN Forces, but as the trouble escalates it seems some pen-pusher from far away is about to move the goalposts and allow the unthinkable to happen. Dancy's performance is gripping, and while with the benefit of hindsight his naivety seems ridiculous, you sympathise and agonise and feel some of the fear his character is undoubtedly subjected to. It's great too to see John Hurt in a substantial lead role for a change, playing a man of the cloth whose faith is rocked by the brutality and carnage. Hurt only seems to get wheeled out for camp cameos these days, so it's a delight to see him roll back the years and put in a performance worthy of his earlier career in landmark movies such as 10 Rillington Place and The Elephant Man.
The movie is not a document of the entire Rwandan genocide but concentrates on the first few days of the bloodiest one-sided annihilation in modern history. Shooting Dogs will make you angry, it'll make you frustrated, it'll make you feel ashamed and it'll make you cry a lot. Rarely have I seen a film this devastating. While it's never pleasant viewing it's a film I implore you to make sure you see. Absolutely and unequivocally, you must see Shooting Dogs.