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In an unnamed Latin American country that closely resembles Mexico, the government fights a rural insurgency with torture, assault, rape, and murder. Soldiers descend on a town, cutting off the rebels from their cache of ammunition hidden in a field. A family of grandfather, son, and grandson are among the rebels in the hills. The grandfather, with his violin over his shoulder, tries to pass the checkpoint, ostensibly to tend his corn crop. The commanding officer lets him pass but insists on a daily music lesson. Can the old man ferry out the ammunition in his violin case under the soldiers' nose? Written by
My hat's off to this little,but powerful film from Mexico. 'El Violin' (or as it's being called in it's U.S. release,'The Violin')is a powerful political potboiler about an unnamed Latin American village, being bullied by government troops (sound only too familiar?),against an elderly musician,minus one hand, who still manages to play violin by tying the bow to the stump of his missing hand. This film is being compared to Ken Loach's 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley', but reminds me more of certain unpleasant events that took place in Central America back in the 1980's (does El Salvador strike a familiar chord?). The film is shot in black & white, giving it a look that may remind you of some of the classic Italian dramas (post realist) of post WWII (hint: DeSica's 'Bitter Grapes'). Although the film was completed in 2005, it is just now getting something resembling distribution. A film that is well worth seeking out.
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