‘Amigo,’ the 17th feature film from writer-director John Sayles, stars Joel Torre as Rafael Dacanay, a village mayor caught in the murderous cross-fire of the Philippine-American War in 1900.
When U.S. troops garrison his village, Rafael comes under pressure to collaborate from the blood-and-guts Colonel Hardacre (Chris Cooper) as he tries not to betray his people. But the situation is complex.Rafael’s brother Simon (Ronnie Lazaro) is the head of the local Filipino guerillas, and considers any concessions to the Americans to be traitorous. A devious Spanish friar (Yul Vazquez) is charged with translating, but thwarts communication with his spiteful intrigues. A sympathetic American lieutenant (Garret Dillahunt) begins to learn that “hearts and minds” cannot be won at gunpoint. Rafael is forced to make the near-impossible, potentially deadly decisions faced by civilians in an occupied country. Friendship and betrayal, romance and heart-breaking violence, ‘Amigo’ is a page torn from the forgotten history of imperialism and a mirror of today’s unresolvable conflicts. (Source)
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