Doc lives on the edge of Europe where it imperceptibly slides over into the Third World. As a doctor, he knows that the illness he has contracted ten years before in war-torn Africa is getting worse. The diagnosis is cholera, but Doc Knows the disease’s real name: despair. His thoughts about his failed struggle for justice and ideals are drowned regularly in alcohol. On the other side of the world lives Jimmy, a speed-loving motorbike freak who, when his mother dies, finds a letter from Doc and discovers that his father, whom he thought was dead, is still alive. The encounter of the two men leads to a reappraisal of two worlds in opposition. —IMDb
Robert Kramer was born in New York in 1940. He studied philosophy and Western European History at Swarthmore College and Stanford University.
In the 1960’s he made his mark as the great filmmaker of the American radical left whose first films painted a portrait of a generation of militants marked by their opposition to the war in Vietnam (In the country, The Edge, and Ice). He was the founder and prime mover of the Newsreel movement. He has travelled to Latin America, North Vietnam in the middle of the war (People’s war), then in Portugal after the April Revolution (Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal, and Gestos e fragmentos), and in post-independance Angola. Once the most directly political era was over and was captured and represented by Kramer in all its ambiguities and contradictions, he has never stopped reflecting in his films on the “heart of darkness” of the West – that dominating madness that he had shown in Le manteau as a “line that goes through time”. read more
Recently saw several scenes from this as part of a video montage on Monteiro's work as an actor and I have to say it looks good. Best of all was seeing JCM share the screen with a young Vinnie Gallo; two generations of fearless film-provocateurs going head-to-head! Now that's an actor/director partnership that needed to happen. Alas...
The film is exceptional. Those who say Gallo can't act either haven't seen this or don't understand acting, or a little of both. His body language during a hugging scene speaks volumes. When this film came out in 1987 critics were still salivating over stuff like Blue Velvet. Kramer's life was a gift to the cinema. Yes, his life.