Fire From The Mountain

A stirring and informative account of the Sandinista struggle, made up almost exclusively of personal testimonies from Sandinistas, this documentary by Deborah Shafferwho won an Oscar in 1985 for her Witness to War: Dr. Charlie Clementsis 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 (then vice minister of the interior of the 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. Fernando Cardenal, the minister of education of Nicaragua, will speak after the film.

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