CFS presents ‘Men With Guns’

Rickey Perez

Certain events in our lives can cause us to embark on journeys of self-reflection and discovery. For Dr. Humberto Fuentes, the lead character in the independent film “Men With Guns,” this journey is motivated by the loss of his wife. Fuentes is left only with his legacies, seven students whom he trained to be doctors for various small towns during the waning years of his career. He weighs the options of either going on vacation to the beach or traveling to the mountains. Ultimately, he decides to seek out his seven students hoping that everything he taught them has been worth the effort. He is disappointed in the first student he visits, and it gets worse from there. This film is filled with moments of trust, redemption, sacrifice and, most importantly, forgiveness.

Can you forgive a student who fails to use the education imparted to him by a teacher? Can you forgive a former soldier who has a history of murder and rape? Can you forgive a priest who loses his faith after fleeing for his life and abandoning the same people he was supposed to be helping? Can you forgive a society that is ignorant of the death and destruction all around it and does about the devastation? These key questions surface throughout the story.

“Men With Guns” was released in 1997. John Sayles, the director and writer of this film, won three awards at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. In 1999, it was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

The film employs several languages including Spanish, Nahuatl, Tzotzil, Maya, Kuna and English. The language barriers created by the difference of the city and countryside provide interesting moments, including comical interactions with two American tourists who stick out like sore thumbs. They emphasize notions that often show up in Sayles’ works, which are that there are barriers between people and that we should do our best to tear them down.

The cast is comprised of Federico Luppi, who plays Fuentes. Luppi is one of Latin America’s most celebrated actors and you can spot him in two of Guillermo Del Torro’s films, “Cronos” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.” The film also stars Damian Delgado, Dan Rivera Gonzalez, Damian Alcazar, Tania Cruz, Mandy Patinkin, Kathryn Grody, Iguandili Lopez and Roberto Sosa.

Will Fuentes find satisfaction in the legacy he left? Come see for yourself. “Men With Guns,” part of the Spring 2007 offering in the Cultural Film & Lecture Series with the theme “Forgiveness” will be screened four times in the Connelly Center Cinema: Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 3:30 and 7 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m. Admission is $3.50 for students with ID and $5 for everyone else. The Monday showing only will feature speakers Dan Jefferson and Susan Marcosson who will provide an introduction to the film prior to the screening and lead a discussion afterward. For more information contact the communication department at x9-4750 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or consult the CFS Web page: