The appeal of knowing what’s going on in the world

News from the big world (United States, 2021), by director Paul Greengrass, is set in the United States of the 1860s, after the Civil War ended. Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) makes a living reading, in a very particular and attractive way, what the newspapers say.

He travels from town to town and organizes a session, for which people pay ten cents, where they do a dramatic, theatrical reading of what happens beyond their environment. Finding out what is happening in the world is attractive and also fun. Calls the surprise of the unknown. His audience are peasants and workers, many of them illiterate.

In one of his trips, he assumes the responsibility of delivering to his relatives little Johanna Leonberger (Helen Zengel), a white girl who had been kidnapped six years earlier by the Kiowa Indians. His parents at that event were killed. They were European migrants. He goes through all kinds of adventures, but he fulfills his commitment.

Relatives do not welcome the girl. They treat her like a slave. When the captain realizes this situation, he decides to adopt the girl, with whom he had grown fond during the delivery journey. The family accepts that a problem is removed. It’s one less mouth to feed. From now on she will accompany him in his work as a news reader.

The script by Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies is built from a novel by Paulette Jiles that has the same title. I think it is fundamental in the construction of the narrative of the film. Dariusz Wolski’s photography is very good with the large open shots that present the strength of the landscape the captain is traveling through, but also the scenes of combat and violence.

The film relies on the powerful performances of renowned Tom Hanks and Helen Zengel. A young woman who masterfully represents her character. The closeness and dialogue between the two works very well. We live the process of fear and overcoming of Johanna to her full development in the presentations of her now father. You have settled into your new reality. There is nothing to fear.

One of the great attractions and successes of the film is the detailed reconstruction of life in the United States at the end of the 19th century. The political and social reality that the country lives after the end of the Civil War is presented. I enjoyed it.

News from the big world

Original title: News of the World

Production: United States, 2021

Director: Paul Greengrass

Screenplay: Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies from a novel by Paulette Jiles.

Photography: James Newton Howard

Música: Dariusz Wolski

Actuación: Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel, Neil Sandilands, Elizabeth Marvel, Ray McKinnon, Mare Winningham, Bill Camp, Chukwudi Iwuji, Thomas Francis Murphy, Tom Astor, Michael Angelo Covino, Fred Hechinger, Annacheska Brown, Christopher Hagen, Stafford Douglas, Michelle Campbell, Stephanie Hill, Clint Obenchain, Cheo Tapia, Winsome Brown, J. Nathan Simmons, Cynthia Casaus, Francheska Bardacke, William Sterchi, David Hight, Brenden Wedner, Randy Ritsema, Bob Knowlto.


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The appeal of knowing what’s going on in the world