Where the River Runs Black | Chicago Reader

Where the River Runs Black

Christopher Cain's emerald forest adventure, about a child of the Amazon backwaters who consorts with river dolphins (his only companions, his mother having been killed by an evil poacher) and knows not the ways of ordinary man or tribe; the boy is brought to civilization by a kindly priest (Rousseau could learn a few things from Cain about the education of feral children: this kid's so quick on the uptake he makes Emile look like Werner Herzog's Bruno S.), then sets out to take revenge on his mother's killer. Some effective scenes early on, in which the silent imagery of the forest is allowed to take hold, but Cain seems oblivious thereafter to the demands of creative engagement—his slo-mo sensitivity is utterly conventional (and overemployed, sometimes to unconsciously ludicrous effect), his TV-inspired chases generically shot and paced—and all that's left is sentimental jungle rot of the most literal and undemanding sort. With Charles Durning, Peter Horton, Ajay Naidu, Conchata Ferrell, and Alessandro Rabelo.

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