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    The Salvador Story

    Posted by Mike Finnegan on

    In Spotlight, one of the eight films vying for the Best Picture Academy Award® Sunday evening, dedicated journalists buck the odds to bring into the light the details of a great injustice, stemming from corrupt institutions and long hidden from view, namely The Boston Globe’s Spotlight reporting unit’s Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé of the Boston archdiocese’s cover-up of child-abusing priests, later proven to be a national and worldwide issue. The team’s commitment is passionate and personal. Opening 30 years ago this weekend, Oliver Stone’s Salvador (1986) covers another roiling, somewhat underreported issue of its time, this one involving the effect of U.S. involvement in El Salvador’s devastating civil war in the early 1980s and filtering it through the experiences of photojournalist Richard Boyle (James Woods) who, while a poster boy for excess with drugs and alcohol, sees a story – a ticket back to the big time – that urgently needs chronicling, and he quickly experiences the heat of that nation’s desperate plight to survive the fiercely clashing turmoil between the guerilla rebels and the right-wing government military. Unlike the methodical and painstaking Boston reporters who must tread lightly and dig deeply, Boyle is a loose cannon in a world of chaos, and his unexpected discovery of love complicates whatever feelings of objectivity he started with. Stone (who co-wrote Salvador with the real-life Boyle) never sits on the sidelines either, and that’s felt in every frame of this explosive thriller shot on Mexican locations that expertly replicate the atmosphere of hardship and mayhem that unfolded in El Salvador. Twilight Time’s hi-def Blu-ray of Salvador puts you in the thick of things not only with the two-time Oscar® nominated film (for Woods as Best Actor and Stone and Boyle for Original Screenplay), but with an usparing Stone Audio Commentary, an hour-long making-of documentary and deleted scenes. In addition, check out Richard Luck’s marvelous 2013 Sabotage Times Living El Q&A reminiscences by Stone, Boyle, Woods, co-stars Jim Belushi, John Savage and Michael Murphy, cinematographer Robert Richardson, executive producer John Daly and producer Gerald Green here – – because a vital, impactful story is always worth the retelling.