Tonight "The War Boys," a film by Ron Daniels, makes its world debut at the New York International Latino Film Festival. I give it a thumbs up.
It is not the stereotypical story of Mexicans crossing the border. It looks at the issue from a different perspective. It explores how easy it is for us to laugh at what we don't know, for us to make to do things even though they are not right just to feel big.
"The War Boys is not about the plight of the illegal immigrant, desperate to cross the border into El Norte, fleeing poverty for a better life," writes Ron Daniels, the director who was born and grew up in a small town across the Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janiero.
"That story cannot be told enough," he states. "And only circumstantially is it about the cross border smuggling trade. The originality of The War Boys, perhaps, is that it tells the immigration story from the point of view of three American young men (including one who is Latino) who could be called 'harmless' racists."
The screenplay has its source in Naomi Wallace's one act drama "The War Boys," which Daniels adapted for the screen. Daniels says the screen version is changed, but the premised is the same. It is based on a vigilante movement that flourished briefly in California called "The Light Up the Border Brigade," which Daniels says was a precursor of the Minutemen.
The film is tonight at 8 p.m. at the SVU Theater Screen 2 and at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Clearview Cinemas Chelsea Screen 7, both in Manhattan.
Here's the synopsis for the film:
The heart knows no borders.
David, George, and Greg, best friends since high school, are “The War Boys”. They used to perch on the US-Mexican border, waiting to spot illegal immigrants who were trying to run into the United States. Sometimes, without a thought for the immigrants, the boys chased them across the wasteland and back across the border – just for fun. It was just one of those games boys played to make themselves feel big. But high school’s over now. David is unexpectedly home from his freshman year of college and the War Boys have been reunited. Now the boys come up with a new plan – they steal a truck from David’s father trucking company, filled with what they believe to be black market televisions. Their plan to sell them, make a quick buck and move to New York is complicated, however, when the contents of the truck prove to be much more sinister than the boys had thought. Meanwhile new feelings and relationships are forming between them, their friends, and their families. The young vigilantes finally come to realize that they are as vulnerable and as helpless as the immigrants they once chased across the border.
Here's the trailer:
For more information, visit the movie's site at www.thewarboys.com.
Check it out.