Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1997. Anarchist’s Convention Films, Clear Blue Sky Productions, Independent Film Channel, Lexington Road Productions. Screenplay by John Sayles. Cinematography by Slawomir Idziak. Produced by R. Paul Miller, Maggie Renzi. Music by Mason Daring. Production Design by Felipe Fernández del Paso. Costume Design by Mayes C. Rubeo. Film Editing by John Sayles. Golden Globe Awards 1997. Toronto International Film Festival 1997.
Excellent John Sayles drama about a Latin American teacher (Federico Luppi) who discovers that all the medical doctors he trained to go out into the dense jungles of his country and administer medicine to the poor have disappeared. He goes from village to village in search of his pupils, and each time is told by locals that they vanished when “men with guns” came to take them away. Sayles’ consistent devotion to character is a real strength here, but mostly the experience comes alive in the photography of the unforgiving landscape: after a while, you really will feel like you’re right there in the jungle with him. Real life husband and wife Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody have a wonderful bit as a tourist couple who distract Luppi’s quest.