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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 08:20 GMT 09:20 UK
Hurt defends Rwanda genocide film
John Hurt
John Hurt said Shooting Dogs was a "brilliantly crafted film"
Actor John Hurt, star of Rwandan genocide film Shooting Dogs, has defended the movie at its UK premiere.

Hurt, who plays a priest who witnesses the 1994 carnage, said it was "a perfectly considered device" to make white characters central to the plot.

He added that the low-budget British production was a "tough shoot".

The film had its world premiere earlier this week in front of an audience of 1,500 Rwandans at a football stadium in the country's capital Kigali.

Actor Hugh Dancy plays a teacher faced with the dilemma of leaving a group of Tutsi refugees to their fate at the hands of Hutu militia in a school complex.

He said the response to the screening in Rwanda was "amazing".

"All responses were bigger so there was more laughter, but you could also hear people weeping.

"Afterwards there was total silence and then there was this overwhelming sound of people wanting to talk about it," the 30-year-old added at Thursday's screening in London.

A scene from Shooting Dogs
Hundreds of Rwandans appear in the film as extras
Answering criticisms that the film was shot from a Western perspective, Dancy said: "One day I hope Rwandans will make this film."

Director Michael Caton-Jones, who also has Basic Instinct 2 in cinemas, said: "I wanted to do a film for myself that I was passionate about.

"I knew nothing about Rwanda beforehand, but I thought, if I don't know, I'm pretty sure others don't know it, and if this film shows people more, then that's a good thing."

The film, which is released in the UK on Friday, features hundreds of Rwandans, including some genocide survivors.

Many survivors and families of victims went to see its premiere in the east African country.

Survivors of the genocide react to the film

Shooting Dogs gets world premiere
28 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Producer defends genocide drama
20 Mar 06 |  Entertainment



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