This is great - a wonderful depiction of Westernization and the nature of gun culture. But I couldn't help but wonder what this film would be if it were a couple of hours longer, going more in line with the rest of Diaz's oeuvre.
This seems to be a pretty popular film on this site, but I found it somewhat dramatically dry. I liked the style and the themes of westernization and alienation from society you once were connected with, but it just didn't quite work fully for me. 3.5/5
A lot of things Diaz manages to pack into this film but the two things that stuck out to me was his focus on the resource curse inflicted on developing countries and the result being desperation borne from poverty. The other being the ex-patriate returning home but unable to reconnect with one's country of origin as a result of being westernized, perhaps originally driven by the lack of opportunities available.
Likely my favorite film of the 00s, not seen any other Diaz though. Please check out the 61 min director's cut, not the shorter one. Not sure if there's a torrent for the director's cut as it's a special feature on dvd rather than the main feature - Korean dvd called Visitors (with Kawase's Coma and Hong's Lost in the Mountains).
Diaz is truly inspirational to me.