A Dark Truth

Feb 24 2013

This 2012 film starring Andy Garcia and Forrest Whitaker is liable to fly under the radar due to its anti-corporate theme, but it is worth a look.  The central conflict of this action and suspense thriller is between Ecuadoran peasants and greedy executives who are financing military supression to further their corporatization of water.  While Whitaker, as Francisco Francis, is forced into an active role in defending his family, brandishing guns and rocks to kill soldiers, he espouses Ghandian non-violence.  Similarly obtuse is the ex-CIA turned radio show host played by Garcia, who is paid $250,000 plus expenses to serve as a mercenary, but somehow comes across as the moral equal of the peasants defending themselves from corporate tyranny.  Despite these flaws, the film is a service to moviegoers insofar as its politics are not blandly pro-corporate or fascistic.  Other contemporaneous films like the 2012 reflux of the Expendables and Red Dawn are impressively stupid by comparison.  It’s refreshing to see films like The Constant Gardner, Blood Diamond, and now A Dark Truth, that mix suspense and action with plausible representations of the world we inhabit.  It is a rather dark commentary on contemporary film criticism that the 2012 Red Dawn outpaced A Dark Truth in both the critical and popular ratings of  Rotten Tomato.   Viewers and critics alike appear to prefer idiotic, xenophobic, and racist movies about an implausible invasion of Spokane, Washington by North Korea to a comparably suspenseful film that is grounded in political realities relating to water rights, human rights, injustice, and corporatization.