Video Release: September 23, 2003
Theatrical Release: 1998
Rating: R (MPAA)
Studio: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
- Runtime: 128 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
- Originally in Spanish
- Released in Portuguese
A respected and decorated Latin American physician sets off on a journey to locate his former medical students, who now work in the remote rural regions of their unnamed, war-torn country. Upon venturing outside his sheltered life, he realizes the depths of despair and violence that most villagers live in, as armed soldiers and guerillas vie for control of the countryside.
After retiring from his profitable private practice, a distinguished and decorated South American doctor sets off on a quest to locate his former students, whom he trained and deployed throughout the disease-ridden and violent rural regions of their unnamed, war-torn country. Once he steps outside of his comfortable milieu, he realizes the depths of despair peaceable civilians live in, as power-mad, gun-toting soldiers and guerillas vie for control of their ramshackle villages. As he progresses across the countryside, he collects a group of motley "pilgrims" in search of a legendary village untouched by the "men with guns."
Filmed on location in Mexico. Some of the research for the film was done while director John Sayles was attempting to make a cable movie called SANCTUARY, based on the Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s. The character of Dr. Fuentes is based on Dr. Amou in Francisco Gold's novel THE LONG NIGHT OF WHITE CHICKENS.