The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez (2007)

The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

José Antonio Gutierrez was one of the 300,000 soldiers sent by US Army to war in Iraq. A few hours after the war began, his picture was broadcast all over the world: he was the first American soldier to be killed in the war. He was there as a so-called 'green-card soldier' - one of approximately 32,000, fighting in the ranks of the US Army for a foreign country.The film tells the moving and nearly unbelievable story of a one-time street kid from Guatemala, who headed north along the Pan-American Highway - full of hopes and desires for a better future - ultimately to die an American hero far from home. Searching for the images and stories that made up this life, we set out to retrace José Antonio's path - from Guatemala through Mexico and into the USA. This story is told by the people who knew José Antonio: his friends from the street, the social workers at the orphanage, his sister, his foster family, his comrades at Camp Pendleton in the United States Marines.But the narrators of the film are also the people we encountered as we were repeating José Antonio's odyssey from the world of the poor to the world of the rich. People who day after day join the endless stream of emigrants - with no identity, no papers - equipped with nothing but their ability to work and their willingness to turn their backs on home and family forever. José Antonio's story is no adventurer's tale. It is the story of an attempt to survive - on both sides of the world.--© Atopiamore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Heidi Specogna, Erika Harzer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 25, 2007
TAG/TRAUM Filmproduktion - Official Site


Eva Mattes
as Narrator
Ciara Pantney
as Narrator [English Ve...
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Critic Reviews for The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (9)

While never letting its tone of studious but stewing detachment slip, the movie quietly builds a truly enraging case for a certain form of systematic official cynicism.

Full Review… | August 17, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

The link between the illegal immigrant problems in the United States and the war in Iraq is explored in the moving documentary The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez.

Full Review… | August 17, 2007
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Mournful and engrossing.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Although Ms. Specogna's film fleshes out his life to the extent that it can, the portrait remains frustratingly incomplete. But given its larger subject - a young life trampled beneath history's forward march - this seems entirely fitting.

April 30, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Now, more than ever, it should be seen here in the U.S. for its ironies, both implicit and explicit.

Full Review… | April 25, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

With only a few letters and family photos, director Heidi Specogna never brings her subject to life.

Full Review… | April 24, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

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