Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Beyond the Gates

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Critics have faulted this 2005 British feature about the Rwandan genocide for focusing on a couple of white characters instead of the 800,000 Tutsis who were slaughtered, but such easy judgments miss the point entirely: this is a spiritual drama, not a political one, drawing a thick line between our good intentions and the selfish choices we ultimately make. Based on a true story, it stars John Hurt as a weathered priest and Hugh Dancy as a young teacher who open the gates of their Catholic secondary school to some 2,500 Tutsi refugees as the killing rages outside. Both the bloodlust of the Hutus and the fecklessness of the United Nations dampen the men's faith in humanity, but the real dilemma comes as the UN peacekeepers protecting their little sanctuary prepare to pull out. Michael Caton-Jones directed. R, 115 min. a Century 12 and CineArts 6, Pipers Alley.

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