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(Review originally written at 1 April 2010)

This by no means is a great or greatly made movie but it tells a good story. It's a movie about standing up for your rights and against discrimination as well as female emancipation. All in all more than enough elements for the American government to ban this movie and blacklist basically every person involved with it, if they weren't blacklisted already that is. Pretty ridicules of course in todays light but that's how things were during the McCartney-era. Most notable blacklisted person involved with this movie was writer Michael Wilson, who would later write the classics "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Lawrence of Arabia" but never in his life-time received the acknowledgment or acclaim for it because he simply couldn't been given the writing credits for its, due to the fact he got blacklisted in the '50's. Prior to that he also wrote the screenplay for other classics "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Place in the Sun".

It is still a relevant movie because of the issues it handles. And this is also one of my complaints with this movie. At the end you don't really feel that the characters and this movie actually achieved anything the change the whole situation. As long as money is important companies like this will use cheap labor forces, with minimum wage and without overly expensive safety measures. This is not something typical American. Of course not everything is still the same now days but some of the problems of the old days got replaced by a whole new similar bunch of problems.

The movie got made very cheaply and in secret, due to the involvement of blacklisted persons. Because of this the movie does not exactly use the best director, the best cinematographer, the best editor or the best actors. As a matter of fact the movie its cast largely consists out of non-actors and it gets presented and mentioned as if that's something to be proud. I'm sorry but more than halve of these persons in this movie just really can't act.

But granted that this movie is not necessarily a movie, so not everything I just mentioned really matters for the end result. It can be seen as the telling of a true story, in an almost documentary like style. It got shot at the spot, with only the available things and persons at hand. It got shot at a real Mexican miners community, with real miners and their families.

Really not the greatest looking or made movie but it tells a good story.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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