After the impressive but inevitably compromised Under Fire, it's good to see a movie that deals with conflict in Central America with a real sense of commitment. Wexler's brazenly partisan film may lack the artistic sophistication of its mainstream counterparts, but it gains in power by focusing not on the familiar 'neutral' journalist/photographer figure, but on an invading American soldier, a Green Beret lieutenant (Beltran) drafted to Honduras to train a platoon of 'Contras' for secret raids on Nicaragua. There he becomes embroiled not only in the infliction of death, torture and US propaganda upon the Sandinistas, but in the contradictions of his position. First, he's a Latin American himself; second, he falls for a woman working in Honduras who hails from the village that is his prime target. Wexler's methods involve passion rather than 'balance': black-and-white moralising may occasionally be the result, but there's no denying the emotional punch dealt by the assured combination of taut narrative and intelligently researched context.
Cast and crew
Juan Carlos Ortiz