Nicaragua 1979: Star photographer Russel Price covers the civil war against president Somoza. Facing the cruel fighting - people versus army - it's often hard for him to stay neutral. When the Guerillas have him take a picture of the leader Rafael, who's believed to be dead, he gets drawn into the happenings. Together with his reporter friends Claire and Alex he has to hide from the army. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
In the opening scene in Chad Asian elephants are used by the rebel troops (instead of African elephants living in that area, who are not especially known for their suitability for domestication) clearly identifiable by their smaller ears and the hair on their forehead. See more »
Outstanding writing and acting in a credible milieu.
"Under Fire" is a well-written, well-acted piece, showing photo-journalists operating in the milieu of insurrections in Chad, then Nicaragua. Watching Gene Hackman, Nick Nolte and Ed Harris perform together was a treat. And the writers gave them terrific lines. "This is a great war: good guys, bad guys, and lots of cheap shrimp." I especially liked when Hackman's character asked if Nolte's character had slept with Hackman's woman when their relationship hits the skids, and Nolte answers directly, "Hell no, Alex. We're friends." And you just know Nolte's character meant it, man to man. Great moment. Also appealing was the way third-world conflicts were portrayed as global brushfires; put out one here, while another flares up over there. Using the real civil war in Somoza's Nicaragua gives the film unexpected credibility. And probably in keeping with reality, Ed Harris has several memorable scenes as a pure mercenary, a globe-trotting soldier-for-hire, who shows up where the gun-battle action is. His last line is something like "See you in Laos". The beat goes on. -ejpede
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