DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

A Dark Truth (2013)

A moving first feature on the subject of the coming international water wars.

Published on April 13, 2013

A Dark Truth (2013)

Cast: Andy Garcia, Forest Whitaker, Kim Coates, Deborah Kara Unger
Studio: Sony Pictures 40533 [3/5/13]
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 color
Audio: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai DD 5.1; PCM stereo
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
Extras: Behind the Truth Featurette
Length: 102 minutes
Rating: ***1/2

This is one of the first feature films about the coming water wars, which are predicted to be a major international concern in the future. Multinational corporations are taking over all the rights to water in various third world countries, making it impossible for farmers to  save rainwater or ordinary poverty-level people to even get a drink of water without paying for it.

In this story a giant water corporation has an unholy alliance with Ecuador’s military regime and a massacre results when something goes wrong with the water purification plant and a whole village gets wiped out with typhus as a result. The corporation wants the military to do their damage control and ensure no witnesses tell the true story. The leader of a peasant revolt (the Forest Whitaker character) escapes barely with his family. The Andy Garcia character is doing a talk program in Toronto and is asked by the sister of the owner of the corporation to go to Ecuador as a freelance assignment to expose the cover-up. He is hesitant because as a former CIA agent he was responsible for putting Whitaker’s character in prison for some years.

He makes contact with the rebel leader and they fight for their lives against the military who are being paid off to kill them to quiet any bad publicity that might affect new investments in the water corporation. They return to Toronto and are ambushed by hired assassins for the corporation, but are saved by one of the assassins turning to their side.

The film means well, and the violence seems justified. But it doesn’t quite grab you. Acting is fine, though both leading characters seem a bit subdued. The big Toronto shootout at the end is difficult to believe. It’s obviously not a big budget effort but gets the story across fairly successfully.

—John Sunier




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