“South Of The Border” & “Predators”
“Predators” is that almost-laughable sci-fi melodrama where
everybody takes themselves so seriously it just begs for its own caricature.
(But if they did a “Saturday Night Live” parody, would anyone
identify the original?) It’s
an interesting career turn for Adrien Brody, of “The Pianist” fame,
who’s come a long way from pre-World War II Poland.
This time, instead of running away from Nazis, he’s running away
from alien predators, except this time he’s not so delicately defenseless:
he’s buff, tough, and ready: specially-trained
in hand-to-hand combat and martial arts.
Not only that, there’s a whole platoon of draftees with him, who
all were kidnapped out of their respective violent elements, and next thing
they know they’re free-falling, literally, so they instinctively pull the
rip cord, and crash-land in an unfamiliar jungle.
At first, of course, being combat veterans, they are naturally
combative with each other, and argue over command and control issues.
But they soon realize they have a common enemy, stronger and faster
and relentless, and if they’re going to have any chance of surviving, they
have no choice but to cooperate with each other.
Of course, not all these desperados prove themselves worthy of the
others’ trust. And not all
survive, either. But it’s one
of those “we’re all in this together, and there’s no way of escaping,
so we might as well learn to work together because we’re all stronger that
way” kind of premises that is exactly the same point that Oliver Stone is
trying to make in his real-life documentary, “South of the Border.”
Veteran Director and Producer Oliver Stone journeys to several South
American countries, as well as Cuba, and interviews the Presidents of the
“The New Bolivars”: like
the lionized Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and the unlikely-appearing Evo
Morales of Bolivia (the first indigenous President of his country), and the
gentle theologian-turned-politician, and former Catholic bishop, Fernando
Lugo , of Paraguay, and the First Family of Argentina, the Kirchners (Nestor
is the former President and his wife Cristina the current President), and
the still-feisty Rafael Carrea of Ecuador, all of whom welcome the
opportunity to preach to an American audience directly through the willing
Director’s camera (well, with interpreters in the background, though many
of these modern Latino leaders are fluent in English, and have even lived in
the United States themselves). These
“new revolutionaries” or “neo-liberals’ are all eager for their
countries to have their own voice, without necessarily relying on the giant
to the North for all their instructions.
They desire to be out from under the thumb of the International
Monetary Fund, seen as “controlled” by the
They want the economic embargo of
lifted, because “50 years is long enough.”
They want the
to be able to have military bases on their land only if they can also have
military bases on
soil (right). And,
eventually, they would like a common South American currency, similar to the
Euro, which would bind them economically as well as culturally.
(Apparently the current difficulties of the European model are
overlooked, or have became more evident only after this film was made.)
The weakest part of this serial interviewing is when Stone decides to
interject his own commentary, when it’s patently obvious, anyway, what his
political perspective is by the way he’s put this “documentary”
together. However, it’s not
often that you get to hear a procession of active Presidents, all in short,
compatible segments, speak candidly and cordially in personal interview
fashion. Sure, there is much
information that’s not presented, and there is no rebuttal to anyone, and
the political slant is relentless. There’s no attempt here at objectively
presenting all sides. And the
relentless alien predators who are after us all may very well turn out to be
difficult-to-destroy social bugaboos like poverty, disease, unemployment,
and uneven distribution of resources. But
“South of the Border” is timely, thought-provoking, and close to home.
And maybe it really is time for the
to update its
Doctrine-outlook on our neighbors “South of The Border.”
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace