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The Independent Critic

Eduardo Rozsa Flores, Sergio Hernandez, Richie Varga, Gyula Bodrogi
Ibolya Fekete
112 Mins.
Facets Video
English, Hungarian, Spanish, Croatian and Italian w/English Subtitles
Facets Cine-NotesTM; Collectible Booklet, Scene Selection; 4:3 Letterbox

 "Chico" Review 
Ricardo (Eduardo Rozsa Flores) is a child of revolution, a freedom fighter who takes his role to almost absurd new heights throughout his life. A "Spanish-Hungarian, Catholic-Jewish communist" raised on Che Guevara and the Virgin Mary, Chico escapes from Pinochet's Chile and becomes a globe-trotting journalist turned freedom fighter embarking on a complex political journey through Hungary, Russia, Albania, Israel and Croatia...ending up in the Balkan War during the 1990's. Loosely based upon the life of the actor who plays the lead role, Eduardo Rozsa Flores, Chico is an ambitious and energetic exploration of revolution, idealism, globalization and the absurd nature of war.

Packaged by the folks at Facets Video, Chico is given a tremendous packaging here and its mixture of biopic, doc and historical drama is brought vividly to life in a way seldom afforded such experimental foreign fare. More and more, Facets is doing for indie foreign fare what Criterion is doing for American and foreign classics - packaging them in such a way that they are truly destined to reach a wider, appreciative audience.

Director Ibolya Fekete received the Best Director award at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for his work here, and also received the Film Critics Award for Best Director from the National Association of Hungarian Journalists.

When Chico focuses on Flores as Ricardo, it works wonders in portraying a man who manages to be as much tourist as he is freedom fighter. However, when the film settles into the Balkan War we begin to see Fekete's weaknesses as a filmmaker as these scenes plod along in such a way that one would consider nearly impossible given the inherent drama of war.

First released in 2001 and released on DVD by Facets for the first time in 2005, Chico has been repackaged and transformed into a rather remarkable unit that is stunningly relevant given the sheer number of wars and conflicts throughout the globe.

For more information on Chico, visit Facets Video.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic