`Territorio Comanche' is a documental report rather than a novel: Márquez, the cameraman is waiting to film the blowing up of the bridge at Bijelo Polje in the middle of war-strewn Bosnia-Herzegovina. Arturo Pérez-Reverte writes of the horror of war in general, and of the Bosnia genocide in particular. Many of us can remember his face behind his huge glasses and a microphone reporting in from the battle-ground for the news desk on RTVE. And as a documentary, many of the figures in this book and the film, though several of the names were changed - are real people. The book itself is dedicated to José Luis Márquez, the cameraman.
Later, after the war and back in Spain, RTVE did not like the publication of this book and consequently Pérez-Reverte quit RTVE. All the better for the widely-read Spanish author both in and outside Spain. `La Niña Mimada' of the book is called Laura (Cecilia Dopazo) in the film, but represents the real life Angela Rodicio, one of the best correspondents on RTVE, but this was too much for the bosses at RTVE, and probably for Ms Rodicio herself.
As for the film, it is probably best to go back to the book. The film, at best, is a tasteless forage into a world which Gerardo Herrero and the leading actors Imanol Arias and Carmelo Gómez did not even begin to understand. The book was not written so that all the grizzly bits could be smeared over the screen.
I can remember my journey through the then Yugoslavia, down the Dalmatie and inland to Sarajevo, from Dubrovnik over the mountains to Peç and on to Skolpje, back in 1966. And tears came to my eyes when I saw the holocaust of that filthy war falling on the friendly innocent victims of greed, hatred and lust for power.
Look, the best thing you can do is read the following review by `Marinela'. I thoroughly go along with what she says.
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