In 1898, Spain sends a military squad to the town of Baler, Philippines, to protect one of the last colonies of the Spanish Empire, to avoid rebellious natives from recovering its ancient territories. Lead by Captain Enrique de las Morenas and Lieutenant Cerezo, proud military men, the soldiers are stalked by night by the rebels, and are forced to seek refuge in the church run by Fray Carmelo, Baler's priest. Turning the church into a military fort, the unrelenting heat and malaria starts to sweep across the men. After the Captain's death by a disease called beriberi, Cerezo steps in as the new leader of the squad, faced with a constant power struggle with Jimeno, a soldier from the previous squad annihilated by the rebels. Becoming more and more paranoid and obsessive with the victory and the glory of the Spanish Empire, the rebels close to Cerezo explain that Spain has already sold the Philippine Islands to the USA, ceding all the colonies from the Spanish Empire, and that the war ...Written by
I enjoyed watching this film. I thought the acting was great and everyone pulled their weight in the acting department with very few exceptions if any. The cinematography was superb and I loved looking at the jungle and beach landscapes. The costume design was excellent especially the uniforms.
But what struck me personally is how the dynamics between the Spanish soldiers seem to follow the current political landscape, especially the US. There is a struggle between the older soldiers with their pride and privilege versus the younger soldiers with their openness and common sense. And both factions have some support in the other side - compassionate older soldiers who are sympathetic of the young idealists and loyal young soldiers obedient to higher ranked older officers. Because of this I give the movie a 9.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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