Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

23 March 2008

Under Fire, dir. Roger Spottiswoode (1983)

NIKKI says:
An odd choice for a Sunday afternoon, this one. I liked it, as much as you can like something so horrifying.

The movie is about three journalists with decent motives in Nicaragua to document the Sandinista revolution. (I had to look that up, because I'm dangerously unfamiliar with this moment in history.)

What complicates their story is the love triangle going on between the characters. Nick Nolte and Gene Hackman are friendly colleagues both in love with the same woman, Joanna Cassidy. She has affection for both of them, but only one can support her in the life she wants.

How the whole thing plays out is interesting and brutal. The movie ends up delivering quite a powerful political message that really makes you question how you view war and these kinds of atrocities. We see this war, the destruction and devastation through Nick Nolte's camera lens. People are dying, tyrants are overpowering their people. And then Gene Hackman's character is murdered and we gasp. Oh my god, how horrible.

But, wait a minute -- the whole movie has shown us brutalities. What does that say about how distanced we've become from stuff happening "over there"? A Nicaraguan woman must point out to a weeping Joanna Cassidy, who has just seen Hackman's murder replayed on TV: "Do you know the man who was killed? Fifty thousand Nicaraguans have died and now a Yankee. Perhaps now America will be outraged at what has happened here... Maybe we should have killed an American journalist 50 years ago."

It's heavy-handed, perhaps, but the point is made. Interesting to compare this one to A Mighty Heart. Random killing of American journalists, it turns out, doesn't really change anything, does it?


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