Fire From the Mountain | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Fire From the Mountain 

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A stirring and informative account of the Sandinista struggle, made up almost exclusively of personal testimonies from Sandinistas, this documentary by Deborah Shaffer--who won an Oscar in 1985 for her Witness to War: Dr. Charlie Clements--is loosely based on Omar Cabezas's book about his own training as a guerrilla fighter in response to the Somoza dictatorship. The physicality and mythical dimensions of the guerrillas' experiences in the mountains are an important part of the story here, but the film includes much more: newsreel footage and Nicaraguan witnesses speak of American invasions throughout this century, and the commentaries of Cabezas (now vice-minister of the interior of the new Nicaraguan government) and others are intelligent and pointed, moving beyond slogans to give a detailed portrait of their history, problems, and aspirations. Music is provided by bassist and composer Charlie Haden. (Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday and Saturday, February 26 and 27, 7:00 and 9:00; Sunday, February 28, 5:30 and 7:30; and Monday through Thursday, February 29 through March 3, 7:00 and 9:00; 281-4114)

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