(director: John Frankenheimer; screenwriters: novel by Andrew Revkin/Michael Tolkin/Ron Hutchinson/William Mastrosimone; cinematographer: John R. Leonetti ; editor: Paul Rubell; music: Gary Chang cast: Raul Julia (Chico Mendes), Sonia Braga (Regina), Luis Guzman (Estate Boss), Tomas Milian (Darli Alves ), Edward James Olmos (Penheiro), Nigel Havers (Steven Kaye), Carmen Argenziano (Sezero), Kamala Dawson (Ilzamar); Runtime: 118; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Thomas M. Hammel/John Frankenheimer/Grazia Rade ; HBO VHS; 1994)

“A highly acclaimed made for cable film.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

John Frankenheimer (“Black Sunday”/”The Gypsy Moths”/”Year of the Gun”) directs this mostly fact-based biopic on Chico Mendes (Raul Julia), the Brazilian environmental advocate and former head of the Brazilian Rubber Tappers Union, who was murdered in Brazil, in 1988, while trying to save his land on the rain forest. The cause of the non-violent activist was to save the rain forest.

After Mendes is assassinated, a concession by the Brazilian government in 1988 was made to set aside certain areas as protected forest.

It’s a highly acclaimed made for cable film. It was filmed in Mexico. There’s a Hollywood fiction part and another part fact-based on a book by Andrew Revkin. Raul Julia won the Golden Globe and the Emmy for his inspiring lead performance. Outstanding supporting roles were by Kamala Dawson as Mendes’ adoring wife, and Tomas Milian as a cattleman and instigator of Mendes’ murder. The only Brazilian in the cast is Sonia Braga. She has a small role as an environmentalist loyal to Mendes.

REVIEWED ON 12/20/2015 GRADE: B    https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/