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also known as El violin

The Violin2005

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  • 4.3
Don Plutarco, his son Genaro and his grandson Lucio live a double life: on one hand, they are musicians and humble farmers; on the other, they support the Campesina peasant guerilla movement's armed efforts against the oppressive government. When the military seizes the village, the rebels flee to the sierra hills, forced to leave behind their stock of ammunition. While the guerillas organize a counter-attack, old Plutarco executes his own plan. He plays up his appearance as a harmless violin player in order to get into the village and recover the ammunition hidden his corn field. His violin playing charms the army captain who orders Plutarco to come back daily. Arms and music play a tenuous game of cat-and-mouse which ultimately results in painful betrayal.

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"…a fable of heroic defiance in the face of brutal oppression." - Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer


1 member likes this review

Mexican actor won at Cannes for his powerful portrayal of the grandfather of a family of rebels resisting the Mexican army. His sad and dignified face will break your heart.

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Member Reviews (2)

Mexican actor won at Cannes for his powerful portrayal of the grandfather of a family of rebels resisting the Mexican army. His sad and dignified face will break your heart.

1 member likes this review

Beautifully photographed, excellently acted, but in service of sloppy and disappointing exposition, plot development and conflict resolution.

(spoiler follows)

There is a dramatic start interspersed with the credits. That violent scene is never revisited, referenced or resolved. Where does it fit in the tale? At the start? If so, who are the people in this scene. We never learn. At the end? Then why is it here at the start?

The syposis one reads prior to the movie clealry says that "betrayal" is a key element. So you watch and examine every character study every moment, looking for a warning of who will betray and how. But we never know. There is none. The rebels go to Tres Cruces but attempts to warn them of an ambush, or even how the Colenel came to set it up, is never explained. Apparently he is there by intuition.

Nor are we given a clue as to how the violin in the cornfield was found. Given all the caution the old man uses, the film tells us nothing about how that happened. Ridiculous.

Finally, there is an old old saying in the theater and it applies to movies, too. If there is a gun on the table in the first act, someone must be shot before the second curtain.

In this movie, we have a soldier (an fffing soldier!!) mysteriously hand the old man a pistol. It is never used.

But wait, it happens again. He is given a second gun by yet another soldier. Also, never used.

Watch this movie for everything but the story line.