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Fire on the Amazone

This environmentally-conscious film about the Amazon Basin shows how the politics surrounding that region can affect a movie's release and re-release. In Bolivia, rival interests fight over uses of the Rain Forest: tribal Indians and rubber-tappers fight each other, and are threatened by lumber companies and cattle ranchers who want to clear-cut. We see some clearcutting and burning.

Rafael Santos (Cesti), an anti-clearcutting activist, is murdered, and tensions run high on all sides. An Indian is the probable killer, but dies in his jail cell before he can be tried. But many people believe the real killers are being protected. Photojournalist R.J. OBrien (Sheffer) and activist Alyssa Rothman (Bullock) dislike each other, but set off together to find the truth. Along the way, their relationship is transformed as well.

Environmentalism is a "hot" topic everywhere, and using the Rain Forest shouldn't mean destroying it. Its certainly hard to object to preserving something that supplies a large portion of the worlds oxygen. Although this movie has a strong message, the plot is thin, the characters aren't well-developed, the dialogue is sometimes poor, the acting is uneven, even sometimes unconvincing, and the special effects are cheap. Dialogue in the outdoor scenes is faint and hard to hear, and in a few scenes, characters flub lines. To heighten environmental consciousness, a better production would help.

With several firearms' killings, arrows, and beatings, extreme profanity, and many numerous uses of "the f-word," this isn't a film for young children. The good characters fight corruption, however rough their own behavior. Several better-quality films on the same theme might heighten environmental awareness, but this film has its place. (Re-released in 1993.)
Director(s): Luis Llosa and Roger Corman
Writer(s): Margo Blue, Catherine Cyran, Beverly Gray (a.k.a. Jane Gray)
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Craig Sheffer, Juan Fernández, Judith Chapman, Ramsey Ross, Jorge García B
Release Date: 1993   
Keyword: Amazon; deforestation; multiple use; Sandra Bullock
Target Age: 12+   Category: environment
Documentary: no
Language: English   Reviewer's Name: Micah
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