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Comanche Territory

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Comanche Territory

This 1997 Spanish film about TV reporters covering the siege of Sarajevo puts a 90s spin on a setup straight out of Howard Hawks, as an arrogant outsider tries to prove himself to a circle of hardened veterans. Yet here the outsider and the tough, smart Hawksian heroine are one: Laura (Cecilia Dopazo), a TV anchor from Madrid, has to win the cooperation of a cynical reporter (Imanol Arias) and his cameraman (Carmelo Gomez), both survivors of other military conflicts. Director Gerardo Herrero tackles journalistic ethics, war crimes, and the lonely life of news correspondents, but the film never comes across as preachy or sentimental. Much of the action, shot on location in Bosnia, is truly gripping (especially those scenes set in the snipers' haven that gives the film its title), and Herrero's characters are attractively laconic even when they're jousting verbally. This could be one of the most honest and least sanctimonious films ever made about war reportage. Coscripted by Arturo Perez-Reverte from his autobiographical novel. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, February 20, 4:00, 312-443-3737.

--Ted Shen

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.

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