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Land of the Blind (2006)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,924 users   Metascore: 32/100
Reviews: 45 user | 17 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

A soldier recounts his relationship with a famous political prisoner attempting to overthrow their country's authoritarian government.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joe
...
...
Maximilian II
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First Lady
...
Daisy
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Pool
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Doc
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Jones
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Madeleine
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Smith
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Tania
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First Sergeant
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Anchorman
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Anchorwoman
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Storyline

A political drama about terrorism, revolution, and the power of memory. In an unnamed place and time, an idealistic soldier named Joe strikes up an illicit friendship with a political prisoner named Thorne, who eventually recruits him into a bloody coup d'etat. But in the post-revolutionary world, what Thorne asks of Joe leads the two men into bitter conflict, spiraling downward into madness until Joe's co-conspirators conclude that they must erase him from history. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 October 2007 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Confesión bajo juramento  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie contains several references to many real life revolutions and dictators: women wearing veils covering them from head to toe after the revolution (Iran), calling each other "citizen" (France); the gray uniform Thorne wears that resembles Stalin's (Russia) and Mao Zedong's (China); the First Lady's ludicrous wardrobe just like Ferdinand Marcos' wife (Phillipines) or dictatorial power being inherited from father to son (Haiti). Also, Thorne's beard looks similar to Marx's, and the "re-education" camp maybe a reference to Russian gulags. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Anchorwoman: So many fond memories of Maximilian the First on the tenth anniversary of our glorious leader's death.
Anchorman: Many of course doubted that his son and heir, Maximilian II, could live up to the example of his charismatic father. But the man affectionately called Junior has valiantly continued against the pesky rebellion, led by the playwright turned terrorist, John Thorne.
Anchorwoman: Once derided as the playboy Prince more interested in the movie business, the President-for-life announced today that ...
[...]
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Connections

References Planet of the Apes (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
Written by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant. A dark comic thriller and razor-sharp political satire.
20 March 2006 | by (Los Angeles, United States) – See all my reviews

'Land of the Blind' is a brilliant, darkly comic thriller - a sardonic fable about power politics. It's at once deeply absurd and deadly serious, and I loved every minute of it.

The movie takes place in an unnamed country, an outlandish mix of Haiti, Iran, pre- revolutionary France, and suburban London. It's a get-along or find-yourself-in-a-re- education-camp kind of place.

The film plays as both taut political thriller and broad farce. It's a grim sign of the times that even the most outlandish aspects of this world feel like political deja-vu. Politicians are voted in based on their acting credentials; the President-for-Life is also a self-styled auteur of 'B' action movies; the sycophantic TV news-anchors remain upbeat and bubbly as they bend to the political winds, switching cheerily from Brooks Brothers to burqas.

At the heart of the movie is the relationship between imprisoned playwright Thorne (Donald Sutherland) and the man who guards him - Joe (Ralph Feinnes.) Thorne is a tortured man in possession of a brilliant mind, who's been reduced to writing on the walls of his cell with his own excrement.

Joe works for Junior, the buffoonish but cunning dictator played brilliantly by Tom Hollander. Junior is part infant terrible, part cold-blooded killer. Some will see parallels between him and other political leaders - the wealthy, goofy President trying to live up to the image of his father, the manipulation of a nation's fear of terrorism to hide gross abuses of power, etc.

Joe is cursed with a moral compass. He comes to recognize Junior as evil, but struggles with whether betrayal of the regime is the same as betrayal of his country. At first, Thorne looks like Joe's savior. But the question of whether Thorne is a Vaclav Havel - an intellectual who could save his country, or an Abimael Guzman – the imprisoned Peruvian professor and leader of the Shining Path terrorists, is grimly answered in the movie's closing act.

The cast is remarkable, nothing you wouldn't expect from Fiennes and Sutherland, and Lara Flyn Boyle does a terrifically dark and funny Lady Macbeth as Junior's wife. But Tom Hollander's performance deserves special note. Junior is now my favorite movie villain, ever. Frankly, I'd never heard of Hollander before, but here he turns in such a spectacularly comic and sinister performance that I've now Netflixed all of his other movies. If there's justice in this world (and according to this movie, there's not), Hollander would get an Oscar and a huge career out of this film.

LOTB a highly stylized, gorgeously shot movie – the rich production design and cinematography beg comparison to Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil' and Jeunet & Caro's 'Delicatessen'. Like those films, LOTB also takes place in a surreal dystopia that feels physically warped by abuses of power. Also, like those films, LOTB is darkly cynical and very, very funny.

It's a rare pleasure to see this kind of razor-sharp satire wrapped in a thrilling, artful, and well-crafted piece of story telling.


57 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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