Review: ‘Where the River Runs Black’

Where the River Runs Black is a beautifully simple film that celebrates an innocent boy's peaceful co-existence with nature while subtly despairing about man's abuse of it.

Where the River Runs Black is a beautifully simple film that celebrates an innocent boy’s peaceful co-existence with nature while subtly despairing about man’s abuse of it.

Film revolves around a boy with roots in modern civilization being raised by Amazon tribespeople without the knowledge he is the child of two very distinct worlds.

Scripters Peter Silverman and Neal Jimenez have taken David Kendall’s novel, Lazaro, and crafted a screenplay where the few words of dialog spoken speak worlds of meaning.

Much is said in silence and most effectively told through the movements of 10-year-old Rabelo, a waif-like Brazilian swimmer perfectly cast to portray the physically and emotionally confused dolphin boy traumatized by competing forces. Charles Durning is a natural as a fatherly Irish priest, letting his heart – not the fact that he wears a collar – determine the ultimate fate of the orphan boy.

Where the River Runs Black

Production

M-G-M. Director Christopher Cain; Producer Joe Roth, Harry Ufland; Screenplay Peter Silverman, Neal Jimenez; Camera Juan Ruiz-Anchia; Editor Richard Chew; Music James Horner; Art Director Marcos Flaksman

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Charles Durning Alessandro Rabelo Ajay Naidu Peter Horton Conchata Ferrell Dana Delany
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