1. You can watch MACHETERO on Vimeo On Demand
    vimeo.com/ondemand/machetero

    Post 9/11 definitions, ideas and notions of terrorism are challenged in this highly controversial and experimental film. Machetero is an allegorical narrative that follows French journalist Jean Dumont, played by Isaach de Bankolé (The Keeper, Ghost Dog, Coffee and Cigarettes, Manderlay), to a New York prison where he interviews Pedro Taino, a so-called "Puerto Rican Terrorist" played by Not4Prophet (lead singer of the Puerto Punk band RICANSTRUCTION). Pedro is a self-described Machetero fighting to free Puerto Rico from the yoke of United States colonialism. He is obsessed with freedom, freedom for his country, his people and for himself. Jean questions Pedro about his decisions to use violence as a means to achieve that freedom. Jean utilizes a global perspective in questioning Pedro, referencing examples of achieving his goals through more peaceful means. However Jean soon finds that Pedro is well versed in liberation struggles from around the world and their debate over the use of violence as a catalyst for change escalates.

    As Jean and Pedro speak, another story unfolds. A ghetto youth played by Kelvin Fernandez (in his first starring role) grows up in the streets doing what he has to do to survive. The ghetto youth crosses paths with Pedro who sees the potential in him. Pedro tries to provide the means for him to grow into the next generation of Machetero by giving him a pamphlet he wrote called the Anti-Manifesto. The ghetto youth reads the Anti-Manifesto and it reawakens a revolutionary spirit instilled in him from childhood by a mentor in Puerto Rico (played by former Puerto Rican Prisoner of War Dylcia Pagan, who served 20 years in US prisons). The ghetto youth develops into a young rebel driven by the cause to liberate his people. As Jean and Pedro's debate rages on, the cycle of violence that begins in the exploitation and subjugation of imperialism becomes complete in the life of another ghetto youth turned revolutionary.

    The structure of Machetero is built around songs from "Liberation Day", a concept album centered on the liberation struggle of Puerto Rico, written and preformed by RICANSTRUCTION. The songs in the film took on the quality of a narrative voice becoming a modern day Greek chorus. RICANSTRUCTION also provides a completely improvised original score that moves from hardcore be-bop punk to layered haunting and abstract Afro-Rican rhythms.

    Machetero is about terrorism and terrorists, how they are defined and by whom. It is a film that asks us to challenge the way in which we view the events that play out in the world. It is a film about the cyclical nature of violence that is perpetuated by those who choose to oppress and those who no longer wish to be oppressed.

    You can watch MACHETERO on Vimeo On Demand
    vimeo.com/ondemand/machetero

    # vimeo.com/22222037 Uploaded 3,050 Plays 3 Comments
  2. Sam Greenlee is the author of the controversial fictional novel The Spook Who Sat By The Door. He is also one of the producers and co-screenwriter of the film adaption of the novel directed by Ivan Dixon. Sam explored the theme of an long overdue Black revolution in America in Spook. It was a bold and dangerous work. The film was released in 1973 and was a top box office earner for a number of weeks until the FBI went on a campaign to try and ban the film out of fear that the film would incite race riots. The film would later became a cult classic of the Blaxploitation even though The Spook Who Sat By The Door was anything but an exploitation film.

    The book and the film were a huge influence on my feature film MACHETERO (machetero-movie.com). i first came in contact with Sam Greenlee when i called him in Chicago to send him a copy of MACHETERO before he came to NYC on a tour he was doing with Spook. When he came to NYC i went to four of the five screenings he held. We hung out and got to know each other. He had seen MACHETERO and really liked it. It was a huge compliment for me.

    Sam was recently in the Northeast doing another tour with Spook and promoting his new book Baghdad Blues. i asked if Sam would do an interview about his work and he graciously agreed. At the end of the interview i asked him about my film MACHETERO and this is what Sam had to say. Naturally i was humbled and ecstatic by his insights into the film.

    You can see MACHETERO on Vimeo On Demand
    vimeo.com/ondemand/machetero

    # vimeo.com/22422166 Uploaded 226 Plays 0 Comments
  3. MACHETERO is a six time internationally awarded film about the Puerto Rican independence movement. In this excerpt from the film The Young Rebel (played by Kelvin Fernandez) dreams of himself as a child (played by Francisco Sanchez Rivera) bringing a coconut to The Mentor (played by Dylcia Pagan) a purposefully vague character who could be a mother, grandmother, aunt or neighbor. The “FUTURE” title that comes up on the screen as we see the Young Rebel as a boy is not so much a chronological representation but one of character. In the film Pedro Taino “the terrorist” is the “PAST” and Jean Dumont the journalist is the “PRESENT” while the Young Rebel represents the “FUTURE”. So when these titles appear on the screen throughout the film they are not chronological representations but characteristic representations. As the young boy comes running through the tress with his machete and his coconut Dylcia is sitting on the beach smoking a cigar (as older Puerto Rican women will) and proceeds to tell him the history of Puerto Rico’s 500-year struggle for autonomy. She tells him that he must one day continue to carry on that tradition of struggle when he grows up.

    I never wrote any dialogue for this scene. I spoke to Dylcia about what it was that I was looking for and what it was that the story needed in terms of tone and intent. She took it from there and improvised all the dialogue compressing 500-years of history into a 3-minute story. It was amazing to watch.

    Watch MACHETERO on Vimeo On Demand
    vimeo.com/ondemand/machetero

    # vimeo.com/45397374 Uploaded 207 Plays 0 Comments
  4. This is a clip from the film six time internationally awarded feature film MACHETERO. This scene is the conclusion to the opening scene of the film where the Young Rebel takes his machete and buries it into a mound of dirt that exists in an abandon ghetto lot. The machete is and has always been a symbol of Puerto Rican resistance from the slave rebellions of Tainos and Africans to uprisings against Spanish colonial rule to the logo of the modern day underground clandestine struggle of the EPB (Popular Puerto Rican Army) against US colonialism. These two scenes, the opening scene and this scene near the end of the film act as structural bookends for the film completing a cycle of transformation for the Young Rebel.

    # vimeo.com/45374688 Uploaded 82 Plays 0 Comments
  5. Once the Young Rebel (played by Kelvin Fernandez) has endured the beating he’s forced to find a safe place for the night. He finds an old desk sitting by the river where and decides to lie down, immediately falling asleep. Pedro (played by Not4Prophet) follows him and places the bag of books near him as he sleeps and watches over him through the night. It’s this action that is probably the most revolutionary action in the film. Pedro has spoken about his ideology, and spoken about the violent political actions that he’s taken against those who are oppressing him but it’s this very personal revolutionary act of giving the Young Rebel the bag of books and watching over him throughout the night that resonates most as a revolutionary action.

    Pedro never tells this story to the journalist. This story in the film belongs to the Young Rebel but it also belongs on another level to Pedro. The dual ownership of this scene was a conscious effort to layer the interpretations of theses characters within the context of the films themes of cyclical violence and injecting yet another cyclical device into the film to highlight those themes. Throughout the film when Pedro speaks to Jean (the journalist) about his past as a young man the flashbacks consist of the Young Rebel’s story. The idea behind that was to meld the Young Rebel and Pedro into one character living within the same time (impossible in real life but possible and interesting to me in cinema) thus further enforcing the cyclical themes of the film. On another level or from a different perspective or interpretation Pedro and the Young Rebel are two different characters living out the same life because they are trapped in a cycle of colonial violence.

    # vimeo.com/45371846 Uploaded 61 Plays 0 Comments

MACHETERO

vagabond Beaumont Plus

Trailers, Reviews and Clips of the six time international award winning film MACHETERO.

Post 9/11 definitions, ideas and notions of terrorism are challenged in this highly controversial and experimental film. Machetero is an allegorical narrative…


+ More

Trailers, Reviews and Clips of the six time international award winning film MACHETERO.

Post 9/11 definitions, ideas and notions of terrorism are challenged in this highly controversial and experimental film. Machetero is an allegorical narrative that follows French journalist Jean Dumont, played by Isaach de Bankolé (The Keeper, Ghost Dog, Coffee and Cigarettes, Manderlay), to a New York prison where he interviews Pedro Taino, a so-called "Puerto Rican Terrorist" played by Not4Prophet (lead singer of the Puerto Punk band RICANSTRUCTION). Pedro is a self-described Machetero fighting to free Puerto Rico from the yoke of United States colonialism. He is obsessed with freedom, freedom for his country, his people and for himself. Jean questions Pedro about his decisions to use violence as a means to achieve that freedom. Jean utilizes a global perspective in questioning Pedro, referencing examples of achieving his goals through more peaceful means. However Jean soon finds that Pedro is well versed in liberation struggles from around the world and their debate over the use of violence as a catalyst for change escalates.
As Jean and Pedro speak, another story unfolds. A ghetto youth played by Kelvin Fernandez (in his first starring role) grows up in the streets doing what he has to do to survive. The ghetto youth crosses paths with Pedro who sees the potential in him. Pedro tries to provide the means for him to grow into the next generation of Machetero by giving him a pamphlet he wrote called the Anti-Manifesto. The ghetto youth reads the Anti-Manifesto and it reawakens a revolutionary spirit instilled in him from childhood by a mentor in Puerto Rico (played by former Puerto Rican Prisoner of War Dylcia Pagan, who served 20 years in US prisons). The ghetto youth develops into a young rebel driven by the cause to liberate his people. As Jean and Pedro's debate rages on, the cycle of violence that begins in the exploitation and subjugation of imperialism becomes complete in the life of another ghetto youth turned revolutionary.
The structure of Machetero is built around songs from "Liberation Day", a concept album centered on the liberation struggle of Puerto Rico, written and preformed by RICANSTRUCTION. The songs in the film took on the quality of a narrative voice becoming a modern day Greek chorus. RICANSTRUCTION also provides a completely improvised original score that moves from hardcore be-bop punk to layered haunting and abstract Afro-Rican rhythms.
Machetero is about terrorism and terrorists, how they are defined and by whom. It is a film that asks us to challenge the way in which we view the events that play out in the world. It is a film about the cyclical nature of violence that is perpetuated by those who choose to oppress and those who no longer wish to be oppressed.

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