Roses In December – 25 Year Anniversary Edition (1982/Human Rights Watch/First Run Features DVD)
C Sound: C+ Extras: C
wonder what the first scandal was that did not get the attention Watergate did
and began an unfortunate cascade of such scandals where it became a sport to
get way with it knowing you would be protected if you knew the right people,
and openly, it was The Iran-Contra Affair.
Not only was it about arms for hostages to swing the 1980 U.S. Presidential
Election, it was about a change in conduct in other countries that was the
opposite of what one would think we would one might consider after Vietnam.
were artificial guerillas secretly funded by the CIA and like agencies, but
just before Reagan took office, it turns out the same powers were funding
dictatorship mercenaries and supplying them with weapons, even if those killing
pieces were aimed at U.S. citizens abroad.
The policy on El Salvador (so well portrayed in Oliver Stone’s Salvador) was part of this disaster and
the Ana Carrigan/Bernard Stone documentary Roses
In December (1982) shows four Catholic Nuns as the famed early casualties.
Donovan and three other fellow ladies of the faith were intercepted, beaten,
tortured, raped and murdered by a gang of thugs. They were later captured, but it marked a
dark beginning of such incidents left unavenged, as well as treated as
disposable by a government who should care more and do more. Though they caught
the gang much too late. For some, it was
the opening shot in a quiet war against the Religious Left. Either way, John Houseman does an excellent
job handling the narration and the film itself is as incredible as ever. After what we have seen in recent years, it
is more relevant than ever.
X 1 image is soft, from an older analog transfer of the color 16mm footage, but
it is too compelling not to watch in any condition. Color is plugged up and detail is an issue. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is a bit better,
but also shows its age. Extras include
text about The Human Rights Watch series, selections form the series with
trailer access and three more trailers to other political DVD releases from
- Nicholas Sheffo