Based on true events during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, an exhausted Catholic priest (John Hurt) and a young idealistic English teacher (Hugh Dancy) find themselves caught in a literal and spiritual crisis. They have to ... more »choose whether to stay with the thousands of Tutsis about to be massacred or to flee for safety.« less
2005 BBC Film based on the experiences of BBC news producer David Belton. For me, this film shines a spotlight on a central issue of humanity, which is: the vast majority of humans are detached, just do what they are told to do, without gaining or engaging thinking ability. Too many place faith in the thread-like edifices of our society and world for protection. These are all highly fallible, as this film highlights. A system produces the results it is designed to, whether it is a government or religion or international organization. And what we end up with here is a vast bowl of rotten fruitage, which stinks to high heaven. Shot right in the same location it all occurred just a few scant years ago. Evil and wickedness are very much alive all over this globe.
Rwanda, at the time of the atrocities, I have read, was considered 99% Christian. What does the Bible say about racism? “Adam named his wife Eve, because she was to become the mother of everyone living.” Even the UN agrees with this. (UNESCO) states that “all human beings belong to a single species and are descended from a common stock.” Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right." And here, straight from Christ: "and you are all brothers." I do not think society will ever see racial equality until this type of knowledge also affects their hearts.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
An intense look into the brutality of humanity
Dan Lucas | ohio | 09/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this movie should be required viewing for any american who forgets how lucky we all are. the acting is amazing and many scenes in the film are unforgetable. be warned that there are many disturbing images in the film. these aren't gratuitous as they paint the perfect picture of the madness in rwanda in 1994. one of the best films i have seen in a long time."
A Powerful, Deeply Moving Examination of the Rwanda Genocide
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To acknowledge the fact that genocides are still active in our supposedly enlightened times is terrifying, yet through films such as BEYOND THE GATES, HOTEL RWANDA, and SOMETIMES IN APRIL we are gradually bring informed about one particular genocide - that occurred in 1994 in Rwanda - and hopefully will make us as a global population more proactive in stemming the possibility of further acts of brutality and disregard of humanity. Writer David Wolstencroft and director Michael Caton-Jones have created one of the most powerfully poignant films about the genocide of the Tsutsi people by the Hutu people and by placing the film exactly where the genocide happened have added an intensely compelling atmosphere to an act that never should have happened.
In 1994, at the Ecole Technique Officielle, a school for the Rwandan children run by Europeans under the tutelage of Father Christopher (John Hurt) and with idealistic teachers such as the young Joe (Hugh Dancy), the incipient intertribal rioting between the Hutus and Tsutsis is 'monitored by the impotent United Nations led by Capitaine Delon (Dominique Horwitz). After the current leader of Rwanda is shot down in a helicopter tragedy, the Hutus begin killing the Tsutsi, butchering them with machetes and leaving the bodies to rot in the streets. The Tsutsis flock to the Ecole, looking for asylum and protection, and Father Christopher and Joe do everything in their power to provide food and shelter and safety. One particularly gifted student Marie (Claire-Hope Ashitey) works closely with the two men, gaining their admiration and love, and representing the desperate need of the Tsutsis. The UN forces refuse to fire on the invading Hutus and finally evacuate all white Europeans to be flow to safety out of Africa. It is this final abandonment of the Tsutsis that underlies the ensuing slaughter of those who sought help within the Ecole walls. And with showing the decimated Tsutsis the film ends with a few follow-up scenes that are deeply touching and immensely disturbing. It is clear that the film reveals how the world ignored the tragic genocide of 1994 and a more poignant statement has rarely been captured in writing, filming, direction, and acting.
John Hurt and Hugh Dancy are brilliant in their roles, but it is the performance of young Claire-Hope Ashitey that rivets our attention: she is a wonder of an actress and deserves awards for her intensely realistic performance. The film's story is already known (hopefully) so there can be no spoilers here. And therein lies the agonizing reality that the world stood by and let this happen. Every world citizen should be required to see this powerful film in hopes that such atrocities will be prevented in the future. But then there is now Darfur..... Grady Harp, September 07 "
"Why Did You Leave Us?" ~ Sin, The World And The Devil
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 03/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The '05 release `Beyond the Gates' is not a film to watch if you're in the mood for an evening of light, escapist entertainment. Based on true events during the Rwandan genocide in '94, this film delivers a riveting, disturbing and profound examination of human nature, hatred, suffering and the innate desire to find God in the chaos when He's no where to be found. Watching the UN official refusing to acknowledge these horrific circumstances as genocide clearly shows how far removed from the truth the world has strayed.
As I sit at the computer writing this review I see in my mind's eye the dark, beautiful African face of Clare-Hope Ashitey who played the part of Marie, student and love interest to Joe (Hugh Dacy), an occidental teacher who came to Africa hoping to "make a difference". When Marie asks him "why did you leave us" her question is nothing less than an indictment of mankind.
My Highest Recommendation."
Beyond The Gates
P. Lee | Utah, USA | 08/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the dramatic films on Rwanda out there, not that there are so many, but this one blends well the elements of story and drama that are found in Hotel Rwanda and Sometimes in April. I think the balance given in this film is the best. However, I still think we need a film that stars African actors and allows them to give greater feeling to the situations. Even still, Beyond the Gates, known in UK as "Shooting Dogs" does well to bring across the horrors of genocide."
A harrowing account of the Rwandan genocide of 1994
z hayes | TX | 10/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like its predecessors, Hotel Rwanda & Sometimes in April [a HBO presentation], Beyond the Gates is a searing account of the horrors of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 that claimed over 800,000 lives. Yet, this movie is on some levels more poignant as it examines people's faith in the face of human hatred and man's inhumanity towards another.
The movie centers around Father Christopher [John Hurt in an amazingly inspiring performance] who is the parish priest based at the Ecole Technique Officielle, a technical school that is also the base of a UN peacekepping force that is mainly there in the capacity of observers. John Hurt plays the role of the priest here with a strong touch of humanity, humility and love for his parishioners. There is also Joe Connor [Hugh Dancy] who plays an idealistic young teacher who finds himself confused and helpless when the horrors of the genocide become more apparent to him.
Of course, for those familiar with the history of the Rwandan genocide, there need be no elaboration on what the outcome in this movie is...to avoid giving too much away in terms of plot, the main story here deals with what happens to those seeking refuge at the school when the majority Hutus begin to exact horrific vengeance upon the minority Tutsi population by butchering, maiming, and murdering them with machetes - a death so horrific that we cannot but flinch and look away from the brutal, macabre scenes where no one is spared, be it children, women, elderly nuns etc.
In spite of the horrors of the story unfolding in this movie, we the viewers get to see human grace in the face of great evil, and this is something to take heart in. This is a definite must-see for all of us, especially given the horrors of man vs man, even till the present day, where genocide still happens, and when powerful nations continue to remain impotent in putting a stop to such atrocities."