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How Frans Afman, a banker from the Netherlands, developed a new system for film financing, revolutionized independent filmmaking in Hollywood, but could not prevent it all from crashing down, when ambition of others turned into greed.
Frans J. Afman,
Dino De Laurentiis,
Martha De Laurentiis
After their father (public figure and arms dealer to the cartel) passes away, two brothers on the opposite sides of the law are forced to reunite. One struggles to keep his fathers secrets as he runs on a political campaign, the other is forced into his old business.
The film was expanded from a 35-minute mini feature into an 86-minute full length one - as well as shot over a period of four years, it was affectionately described by lead Justin Berti at a post-LIFF screening Q & A as a 'miracle film'. It's another triumph of determination and creative spirit (a sort of micro-budget 'GODFATHER') that evokes memories of John Carpenter's work on his 1976 classic ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13.
The plot-line and characters are familiar and the mix of ambiguity amidst politics and arms deals has been explored in any number of classic Hollywood films over the years. FRONTERA does lend itself to films like HEAT and TRAFFIC in that the characters are entwined on both sides of the coin, but politics in recent years has become a little more open in its' frankness about the dealings of politicians in the shadows.
That said, considering the constraints it has had in the production of it, it comes off rather well. There's a neat shot of Sonny looking out on what appears to be the aftermath of the recent California flash fires which devastated Southern California in places like Malibu.
Cinematographer Matthew Macar creates a rawness in the look of the film, with crisp light and shadow throughout and Armbruster is to be applauded for his efforts here.
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