What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this war-themed drama set in the Philippines, circa 1900, has a fair amount of war violence, with shootings, blood, death, and threats; children are involved in some of this. Strong language includes several uses of "f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word (about half of the movie is in English, the other half subtitled). There's also some sex talk, innuendo, and flirting, as well as heavy drinking. Written and directed by legendary indie filmmaker John Sayles, the movie tries to capture the point of view of American soldiers occupying a small baryo, as well as the locals who live there. The result is both uncommonly intelligent and uncommonly downbeat, and it's likely that only the most adventurous of older teens will be interested.
- Families can talk about the movie's violence. How does its compare to what you might see in a blockbuster action movie? Which has more impact? Why?
- Are there "good guys" and "bad guys" in this war? What does the movie have to say about war in general?
- Why do you think the filmmaker chose such a downbeat ending? What does it mean?