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Plus Icon Read Next: ‘Vieja Viejo’ Director Ignacio Pavez Readies ‘Un Amputado’ for Gallo Negro (EXCLUSIVE)Screenwriter and director Ignacio Pavez and the team at Chile’s Gallo Negro Producciones (“Intiwawa”) are readying to produce Pavez’s next feature, “Un Amputado” (“An Amputee”). Creative director at Gallo Negro, Pavez bows his second feature, “Vieja Viejo,” at Sanfic 18, the Santiago International Film Festival, which runs through to Aug. 21 as a hybrid event. The film, which portrays a couple navigating the isolation of ageing and declining health, screens as part of the Chilean Films In Competition strand. Pavez previously wrote and directed notable shorts “De Cara al Cemento” and “Fuego,” the latter earning the best short film award at the 2021 Bio Bio Cine Festival. His full-length project “Maleza” racked up the best feature film award at Chile’s Festival de Cine Emergente de Concón 2017 and screenplay, art direction, and actor awards at FECICH-Festival De Cine Chileno 2018. “Un Amputado,” currently at a funding and script development stage, follows protagonist Raúl’s distressing recovery after a tragic highway accident results in the amputation of his hand. An uphill battle, he’s forced to adjust to life with a disability and the prejudiced gaze of the biased society surrounding him. In an exclusive statement, Marc Nicolet, executive producer at Gallo Negro, told Variety that “due to the controversial nature of the topic and the way we’re going to tell the story, ‘Un Amputado’ has great potential to appeal to festivals, the media and digital platforms. This project allows us to continue increasing the international reach of Chilean cinema.” He went on: “We want to develop and produce this project because it’s important to address issues like amputation within the framework of modern society, which claims to accept it but still discriminates against it in one way or another. On top of that, the public systems lack the necessary tools to offer effective reintegration into the world after such procedures.” “Through ‘Un Amputado,’ we want to reflect the discriminatory reality in its subtleties, the events that occur in both the public and private spheres of a character that’s just faced the loss of a limb.”

Critics are panning John Travolta’s mob drama “Gotti,” which received a score of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes after its premiere on June 15. But in true mobster form, the “Gotti” team is coming for its enemies and protecting its leader.

Variety‘s review of “Gotti” attached near-praise to Travolta’s performance but smeared the film overall. “His performance ain’t lousy, but the movie that surrounds it is, and it’s almost laughable to see this iconic star trying so hard on behalf of a project that is so compromised in its intentions,” writes chief film critic Peter Debruge. In response to its lackluster critical performance, the “Gotti” team released a promotional sizzle reel via Twitter discrediting its skeptics.

“Audiences loved ‘Gotti,’” the title cards read. “Critics put out the hit. Who would you trust more? Yourself, or a troll behind a keyboard.”

Reviews from other publications — a sampling of which called the film “a mess” (New York Times), “an offer John Travolta should have refused” (Rolling Stone), and “the worst mob movie ever” (New York Post) — echoed Variety‘s unforgiving sentiments, prompting its marketers to hit back.

“Audiences loved ‘Gotti’ but critics don’t want you to see it,” the reel’s Twitter caption reads. “The question is why??? Trust the people and see it for yourself!”

But the ploy to save “Gotti” at the box office may be too little, too late, as opening weekend profits peaked at $1.67 million.