"Adolfo Perez Esquivel: RIVERS OF HOPE" is the story of Latin America
over the past eighty years, as seen through the eyes of one man...
Written By: Dawn Gifford Engle
Directed By: Dawn Gifford Engle
So many times, as I look back on previous reviews I feel a little silly. Constantly, I brag about how far the independent film scene has come over the last few years; almost as if I know these people, these filmmakers personally. At times I gush and babble and generally just come across as a little weird. Maybe it's the amount of indie films I have seen over the years, or maybe because I watch these filmmakers grow with each new project. Whatever the reason, this is one of those times I am going to say... Wow. Look how far independent films have come. "Adolfo Perez Esquivel: Rivers Of Hope" is a great piece of indie art that plays just like a budget heavy film from National Geographic, or some other large production house. But how is the film itself? How pure is the message? Let me say this. Adolfo Perez Esquivel has the presence of a great man, captured via interviews of his thoughts and stories. This is a film about a man who has seen more than his share of change, and done what he could in the face of it. A human being, like you or me, telling the story of Latin America from his point of view. Writer / Director Dawn Gifford Engle has done an awesome job of capturing Adolfo, and his story for all of us to see. This may be real life, but it's told in a way that makes it feel unreal and damn entertaining.
As for the technicalities of the film, what can be said? It's a very well put together documentary. Just what you'd expect to find if you were watching the History Channel, or NatGeo. Interviews, footage and an excellent narration. What I kept thinking about when watching was the amount of footage and pictures contained within the 77 minute run rime. It must have taken ages to gather, sort and put this stuff together! The fact that it flows, and flows so well is amazing in itself. You could watch this film, turn down the volume (and remove the sub-titles) and still, find the images interesting enough to keep you on your couch! Amazing. I must add however, that this very thing hindered my enjoyment of the film slightly. By the end, it just felt like it had dragged a little. Just a tiny little bit. A four or six minute cut to the edit, in my opinion would have been the icing on the cake. Where and what to cut though? That would be the problem. Thinking back, I had no complaints about any of the images or sequences. So what would one cut? I just don't know. Maybe, it is fine just the way it is. Just one of those things I guess.
If you're a history buff, a humanitarian, or simply love a good film "Adolfo Perez Esquivel: Rivers Of Hope" has something for you. If you also happen to love doc's, even better! This is one of those films that easily transcends it's message simply because it's such an entertaining film. Is that good or bad? I guess you'll have to decide when you come across it for yourself.
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