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John Sayles Talks The Politics Of 'Amigo' & Working With A Filipino Cast

  • By Mark Zhuravsky
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  • August 17, 2011 11:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
John Sayles' latest feature, "Amigo," is an intriguing moral fable, marrying historical narrative with a fictionalized tale that takes us on an emotional journey with those on both sides of a conflict. The background is the Philippine–American War of the early 20th century, a well-documented but not widely known (it certainly was skimmed over in our history classes) attempt to "win hearts and minds" of Filipinos. The "amigo" of the title refers to Rafael (Joel Torre), a cabeza (head) of a barrio whose initially envious position becomes his downfall when the Americans unceremoniously occupy the village and attempt to root out guerilla fighters who have taken refuge in the adjacent wilderness. Rafael's brother is the leader of the local insurrection and so the village head finds himself in the ultimate predicament, pacifying the trigger-happy Americans while half-heartedly supporting his brother's revolutionary tactics. "Amigo" succeeds largely because it refuses to simplify the situation or spell out the obvious comparisons a viewer could make to U.S. global politics today. It's also well-acted, handsomely shot with rich scenery and a novelistic approach to character development. In short, it's another fine entry in Sayles' already impressive body of work and should more than please fans of the auteur.

Review: 'Amigo' An Observational, Powerful Film Linking America's Political Past & Present

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 16, 2011 11:58 AM
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The following is a reprint of our review from TIFF in 2010.
More: Films, Review, Amigo

Watch: Trailer For John Sayles' Philippine War Drama 'Amigo'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 8, 2011 7:41 AM
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So, did you subject yourself to that "Jack And Jill" trailer? Well, here's a little reward for your effort.
More: Films, Amigo

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