Carla's Song

The sensationalized revelation of who bears ultimate responsibility for the events that have driven Carla, an activist and performer, from her home in Nicaragua to Scotland may convey the filmmakers' political agenda better than the characters' horror. But this 1996 movie, set in 1987, generally avoids the melodramatic, investigating the question of what may or may not be worth dying for in a way that appeals as deeply to the emotions as to the intellect and treating the pursuit of love and the pursuit of justice with a provocative evenhandedness. A Glasgow bus driver, whose reasons for becoming involved in Carla's life are as selfish as they are selfless, makes a trip to Nicaragua with her; as a foreigner in Central America, he's a dutiful representative of the filmmakers' relationship to much of the story they tell. Ken Loach directed a screenplay by Paul Laverty; with Oyanka Cabezas, Robert Carlyle, and Scott Glenn.

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