I first saw this film when I was 9-10, and I went to school red-eyed from tears. It has haunted me ever since - Brad Davies' mind-blowing performance, Georgio Moroder's music, the actual truth. Speaking of truth, there's fictional and misleading treatment of Turkey, and some crucial, dramatic events didn't really happen. But, as a film, this is poignant and electrifying.
A seriously grim and gritty look at the true story of a young man who ended up stuck in a brutal Turkish prison after attempting to smuggle drugs back home. Brad Davis is excellent in the lead, and John Hurt and Randy Quaid lend him some great support. The score by Giorgio Moroder is also great, as is the direction from Alan Parker and screenpay by Oliver Stone.
Since watching this film for the first time there are some sequences I can’t get out of my head, e.g. the sudden outbreak of extreme violence in the middle of the second half. Due to its intense use of cuts, close-ups, sound and music this scene is a cinematic masterpiece. But Moroder’s score is not always working: Because of his music the gay sex scene in the showers feels like belonging to a cheap soft porn movie.
One of David Puttnam's early films with Alan Parker as Director and Oliver Stone as the script writer. It gave us an indication of Turkish prison life for those accused and innocent or guilty of drugs crimes. It is strangely current as 30,000 prisoners are released today to provide space for the middle class and intellectuals who are being hoovered into prisons and simply disappearing under the current government.
Takes justifiable outrage and misplaces it - turning a corrupt political system into a dumping ground for racism and fear. Stone's script is repressed and fascist, wallowing in its depravity, and outside of the technical achievements and absolute sincerity in its acting, I find nothing redeemable or recommendable about the experience.