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men with guns (1997)

written and directed by john sayles

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As Dr. Fuentes, nearing retirement, looks back at his accomplishments from the comfort of his home in the city, he is proudest of the seven young “barefoot doctors” he trained to work with poor indigenous people in the remote villages of his country. But when he decides to visit them in the field to confirm this good work, he discovers that “hombres armados” have gotten there before him, and with every step he is confronted by bloody political realities he has long ignored. In his travels he is joined by an orphaned street kid, an Army deserter, a defrocked priest haunted by his past, and a young woman whose rape by soldiers has rendered her mute. The unlikely group continue on a perilous quest for a possibly mythical village deep in the rain forest– the one last refuge of hope and safety called Cerca del Cielo. This journey of the heart and mind takes us into uncharted regions of hopelessness and vulnerability, into terrible dimensions of brutality, and also into the realms of faith and love. Iconic Argentine actor Federico Luppi stars with a powerful ensemble cast of American and Mexican actors. Sayles’s first movie filmed completely in Mexico, with dialogue in Spanish and several indigenous languages.

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