Friday, August 20, 2010

Bloody Vengeance in the Dominican Republic

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to visit part of the Dominican Republic tourists never see, or what it’s like to be an immigrant from the D.R. in the mean streets of New York City, ‘La Goga” is a film for you.
Shot in the D.R. and The Bronx, “La Soga” is a tale of survival of a tough kid, Luisito (Manny Perez, who also wrote the screenplay), who was 10 when he witnessed the murder of his butcher father in a burst of random violence by local drug lord Rafa (Paul Calderon).
Luisito, known as “La Soga” (the rope) has become a government sanctioned assassin, with a license to kill drug dealers and other baddies at will.
Rafa has fled to New York, and Luisito desperately wants him deported so he can extract his revenge.
So Luisito goes about his bloody business, but he is getting soft and reckless. When he oversteps his bounds and he is called for it, he realizes Rafa may not be the primary source of his country’s misery.
“La Soga” is not for faint hearts. The character of Luisito is a vegetarian for a good reason, and we see explicitly why with a gruesome slow-motion butchering of a life pig and some luckless chickens. This with the conscionless brutality of both the bad and good guys is a bit hard to take.
Director Josh Crook does have a point: violence begets violence and corruption begets corruption. The same dictum applies the world over.

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