Unlike Hotel Rwanda, which was filmed in South Africa using South African actors, the film was shot in the original location of the scenes it portrays. Also, many survivors of the massacre were employed as part of the production crew and minor acting roles. The film’s title refers to the actions of UN soldiers in shooting at the stray dogs that scavenged the bodies of dead. Since the UN soldiers were not allowed to shoot at the Hutu extremists that had caused the deaths in the first place, the shooting of dogs is symbolic of the madness of the situation that the film attempts to capture.
This film was released at around the same time as Hotel Rwanda, another film which was based on the Rwanda Genocide and suffered at the box office since audiences were not ready for two films based on a similar and rather depressing subject matter. In addition, Hotel Rwanda garnered better reviews and Oscar nominations for its two leads, Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo. This all but ensured greater press coverage for Hotel Rwanda, which meant that Shooting Dogs was neglected as a result.
Nicola plays a BBC journalist named Rachel who is a friend of the male lead, Hugh Dancy. She only appears for about 10 minutes in the first half of the film.
You can view screencaps of Shooting Dogs HERE.
Louis Mahoney, a cast member, also appeared in Faith [TV] but did not have any scenes with Nicola either in this movie or that programme.
Steve Toussaint, a cast member, also appeared in episodes of Broken News [TV] and episode 902 of Spooks [TV] but he did not have any scenes with Nicola either in this movie or the other two TV programs.
Michael Caton-Jones, the Director also directed episodes 902 and 903 of Spooks [TV]. In an interview with the Times dated 20 September 2010, he said, “I did Spooks because I thought it would be fun. Nicola Walker who was in my film, Shooting Dogs, convinced me to do it.” He was also very complimentary about the acting talents of Peter Firth and said, ” …the moments between [Peter Firth] and Nicola Walker are the most human aspects of [Spooks], and for the life of me I don’t understand why [Kudos[ don’t use that, or use him to do more for them – this huge talent they’ve got at their disposal.”
(the Times article is only available with a paid subscription to the online edition of the Times)
David Wolstencraft, one of the writers of the screenplay for this movie, is also the creator of Spooks [TV] and is credited with having written some 66 episodes of Spooks [TV]. David was a contemporary of Nicola’s at Cambridge University.
Availability on DVD
You can buy the Region 2 DVD from Amazon UK
You can buy the Region 1 DVD from Amazon US
You can watch this movie as a Video on Demand from Amazon US