Thursday, April 2, 2015

Manos Sucias hits theaters today

(This review is a revision of several posts that ran last year during the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014)

Two estranged brothers, in need of money, decide to transport a torpedo full of drugs to a rendezvous point up the coast for some drug kingpins. Things don't go as planned and they find out the real cost of doing things for bad guys.

What's supposed to be a simple boat trip becomes a road trip from hell as thing steadily go from bad to worse. I'm not going to say what happens, if I told you you wouldn't need to see the film, but getting involved in the drug trade clearly puts you on the road toward doing things you never intended. The film doesn't shy away from the human cost as we see people die and hear the stories of people killed senselessly.

A beautifully shot film this film looks great. We are very much in places that have never been put on film before and the film is so much better for it. The new horizons carries the film even when the film seems to be rambling along.

When I saw the film back at Tribeca last year I was mixed on the film. The problem was that I saw it in the middle of the wave of Tribeca pre-screening and it was the third or fourth film screened that day in the middle of multiple films every day for over a week. Such is the danger of seeing too many films in too short a time, film get lost. Its better than what I originally thought it was.

The film did not get lost on other people and I was berated my numerous people all through the festival and after who wanted to know why wasn’t I raving about the film. (I liked it I didn’t love it). Among those who loved it was Unseen Films writer Peter Gutierrez. Peter was gripped by the film and held in it's power from start to finish.

Also loving the film was Mondocurry who had this to say:

Manos Sucias (Dirty Hands), directed by first time director and student of Spike Lee, Josef Wladyka is a nerve wracking trip into the islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba where two brothers unwittingly sign on for the same risky job transporting drugs by way of a small motor boat. The feeling of dread and of how fleeting human life can be in this environment is summed up by the words "It's either us or them." When the brothers are not racing for their lives, the film brings out soulful moments of bonding over music and football. An amazingly accomplished debut from a promising new voice in film.

Manos Sucias opened in theaters today and is recommended by a good many of the Unseen Films staff.

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