Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Genocide > Politics > Censorship > Murder > Roses In December – 25 Year Anniversary Edition (1982/Human Rights Watch/First Run Features DVD)

Roses In December – 25 Year Anniversary Edition (1982/Human Rights Watch/First Run Features DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Documentary: B



If you 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.


Contras 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.


Jean 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.


The 1.33 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 First Run.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com