It seemes that many feel it’s present in modern entertainment media, however the BBC did something rare in makeing a Roman Catholic Priest a hearo in their movie “Beyond the Gates” (“Shooting Dogs” in UK)
It was an interesting movie, the BBC steped outside the relm of fact a bit, so saying it was “based on a true story” is a bit misleading, but it is based on some real events, this should clear that up a bit.
"History? This film is fiction
A new BBC film telling the ‘truth’ of events in Rwanda only compounds the original sins of the West’s media
By: Linda Melvern
In the course of a few terrible months in 1994, up to one million people were killed in Rwanda in organised and systematic massacres. It was slaughter on a scale not seen since the Nazi extermination programme. The comparison with the Holocaust is impossible to resist, for the central purpose was the elimination of a people. Every Tutsi was targeted. The failure of the Security Council of the UN to act responsibly is one of the great scandals of the 20th century.The failure extends to the Western media, including the BBC; inadequate reporting contributed to indifference and inaction. It was not a glorious moment for BBC news.
Yet, due for release next week, is a BBC-financed film about the genocide, Shooting Dogs, starring John Hurt as a brave British priest. The film is billed as an ‘authentic recreation’, shot on location with Rwandan extras playing the roles of the Interahamwe militia. The film is said to be based on the ‘true story’ and ‘real events’ that took place in the first days of the killing. The story centres on a massacre at a school, the Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO), where Belgian peacekeepers abandoned thousands of people, ordered by the Belgian government to help, instead, with the frenzied evacuation of all expatriates.
A BBC journalist is present at the school and challenges the peacekeepers as they leave, using the word genocide to describe what is happening.
But this is fiction. There was no BBC film crew at ETO. There were no BBC film crews in Rwanda in those crucial early weeks. Nor did BBC news broadcasts tell the world a genocide was underway. In April 1994, as the massacre took place, the BBC was reporting the evacuation of expats and the renewed civil war between ‘tribal factions’. Shooting Dogs shows a shocking disregard for the historical record. It was not until 29 April that the word genocide was used by the BBC. The press was no better. Later, the first international inquiry into the genocide was to conclude that the Western media’s failure to describe the genocide underway in Rwanda had contributed to the crime itself. It was left to NGOs, notably Oxfam and Amnesty International, to draw attention to the terrible events."