'Beyond the Gates' lies a neglected African story

In this searing docudrama, John Hurt portrays a priest who puts everything on the line during the Rwandan genocide.

Beyond the Gates (Unrated)

Many films about modern-day Africa follow this formula: Well-intentioned Westerners – confounded by the continent and in a state of self-loathing over a relationship to it that's not altogether altruistic – do their best, then bail. This one holds up the case of a European-run school in Rwanda that sheltered minority Tutsis before being overrun by machete-wielding Hutus in 1994. Potent and authentic (survivors helped with its creation), the film gets at the stories behind a widely ignored genocide. John Hurt is effective as the self-sacrificing priest; Hugh Dancy plays an anguished young idealist. Among the extras: an appeal for help that references today's Darfur. Grade: B+

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