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Dan Persons

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Mighty Movie Podcast: John Sayles on Amigo

Posted: 08/19/11 01:21 PM ET

2011-08-19-AMIGO_TORRE_410.jpgDirector John Sayles is delving into history again, and this time it's a little bit of American adventurism in the early twentieth century that's frequently glossed over in the history books: the Philippine-American War. In Amigo, Filipino actor Joel Torre plays Rafael, the mayor of a small village who's forced to accommodate a troop of American soldiers, an act that puts him into deadly opposition with his brother (Ronnie Lazaro), the leader of a local guerrilla group fighting the invasion. As the Americans -- prime amongst them an open-minded lieutenant (Garret Dillahunt) and a gung-ho colonel (Chris Cooper) -- struggle both to attain tactical advantage in their battles while winning the civilian population over to their side, there are no few parallels to recent U.S. overseas history. In this case, though, we get to see the conflict through the eyes of the invaded, and learn how people trying just to live their lives can wind up in the center of a no-win situation.

Click on the player to hear my interview with John Sayles.

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