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Friday, February 6, 2015

Missing (1982)

During the 1973 right wing Chilean coup (which was backed by the U.S. government) that deposed democratically elected President Salvador Allende, a young American (John Shea) goes missing. He was seen arrested by the military police but his whereabouts unknown. His father (Jack Lemmon) flies in from the U.S. to help assist his daughter in law (Sissy Spacek) in finding him. Based on the true story of Charles Horman, this is a potent piece of political film making. No one does political thrillers better than Costa-Gavras and like his masterful Oscar winning Z, MISSING flings us into a nightmare world where no one is safe from the repercussions of a fascist regime preying on its own people, no one including Americans who may think they are exempt because they are Americans. And even worse, with the complicity of the U.S. government. To be fair, a lot of what Costa-Gavras and his co-writer Donald Stewart have concocted is speculative and perhaps manipulative in his determination to give us the "truth". Lemmon and Spacek (both Oscar nominated) give strong performances. With Janice Rule, Melanie Mayron, Richard Bradford, Charles Cioffi, David Clennon, Joe Regalbuto and Keith Szarabajka.

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