When the peasant Ramos Clemente leads a successful revolution in his undefined country, the former dictator General De Cruz advises that his mirror is magic and can anticipate who will murder him. Clement becomes paranoid and kills each one of his revolutionary comrades believing that they want to murder him. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is the face of Ramos Clemente, a year ago a beardless, nameless worker of the dirt, who plodded behind a mule furrowing someone else's land. And he looked up at a hot Central American sun, and he pledged the impossible. He made a vow that he would lead an avenging army against the tyranny that put the ache in his back and the anguish in his eyes. And now one year later, the dream of the impossible has become a fact. In just a moment, we will look deep into this mirror ...
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A Lesson on the Pitfalls of Power... and Fake Mustaches
As a story, this episode doesn't seem to go anywhere. It's predictable and the Castro comparisons and Sterling's prediction of his demise did not age as well as Castro himself, who showed us that dictators indeed can hold onto power for a very long time.
As a Latino, the dirty make-up, fake beards, and crappy accents are hard to overlook. But the mirror that shows one's would-be assassins and feeds the paranoia of the powerful is a great science fiction concept, one that--in my opinion--saves this episode.
In short, this is not Sterling's best, but I like that he appears to be using current events to spice up these episodes. At the time, audiences probably really enjoyed this condemnation of Castro (that reinforced all of their stereotypes about Latino politics). In our time, we can appreciate it as a reflection of the fears of the past, fears that turned out to be well-founded.
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