The Black Pimpernel Reviews

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½ April 25, 2012
The Black Pimpernel is a story that most certainly deserves to be told. It's the true story of the Swedish ambassador in Chile during the 1973 military coup. When the military overthrow the government this man, Harald Eldestam, puts his life on the line and uses every resource at his disposal to save the lives of Chileans by housing them in the Swedish embassy and getting them to Sweden. He was an incredible man, comparable to Oscar Schindler in his selfless and tenacious efforts towards humanity. I dare say he was a braver man than Schindler having fought for the lives of people by confronting their captors face to face. What I found dissapointing was that the film is spoken in English. This is a Swedish film, about a Swedish man. Perhaps he spoke English while in Chile but I can't see why he would have? And on the odd occasion when Spanish was spoken, they weren't subtitled. Fortunately these were only brief scenes and so the plot wasn't greatly affected. Michael Nvqvist (the Millennium trilogy) is solid in the leading role and the film looks great. 90 minutes is a short running time for an important story like this and I would like to have seen it stretched out a little more... curiously this is the first film I can recall seeing with Amnesty International's stamp of approval. It's literally stamped at the end of the film along with a 5 minute interview with the real Harald Eldestam.
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