ABOUT THE PROJECT
A dispatch from the frontlines of America’s supposed border war.
SYNOPSIS / DESCRIPTION
A POOR MAN’S WAR is, in essence, a buddy film. Kio, a Japanese-American and former US Army Ranger, receives an SOS letter and goes on a mission into the desert to save his closest friend, Novak. Novak has mentally deteriorated since being discharged from the military, and has gone rogue leading a militia to “secure” the borderland near Mexico. Kio becomes immersed into the complex world of remote borderland militias.
There is a measure of complexity to the story to have an American born Japanese to be the lead on this journey of cultural exploration. Kio, as an Asian-American, is not be categorized as aligned with the migrants by the militiamen and, therefore, they speak more freely around him about their actual opinions and plans. This tolerance of Kio is juxtaposed against their obvious racist tendencies against the migrants. Using Kio, we can show an important facet of the other characters, which is that they don’t believe themselves to be racists.
As the story progresses, these characters are thrust into a dire, life and death struggle with drug cartels—they have whacked a hornet’s nest and the invisible enemy has become all too real for them. The final act shows the characters in crisis mode after the cartel strikes back in an ambush. The militia is locked into an action-packed gun battle with a ruthless, well-funded and well-armed cartel. The choices the characters make in this last desperate struggle are intended to reveal their true nature. In this, the film is intended to work as a sort of biblical parable. As in all parables, it is up to the viewer to determine what the lesson is. We know who these characters are, we understand why they act as they do, and we see the eventual destination they arrive at—all that is left is to judge them.
At the end of the day, this is a modern day western—it is a film about men in the desert with guns. This is an American film about Americans taking on a complex issue, in complex times, in a simple little desert-town near the border where the unforgiving, relentless desert terrain plays a large role. The timing is right for this story as immigration reform is quite possibly the most hotly contested issue in the world today and one of the hottest issues in the upcoming presidential election.
GENRE Narrative Feature
DIRECTOR Andrew Kabbe
SCREENWRITER Andrew Kabbe
PRODUCER David Kabbe
Please help support this project with a tax deductible contribution.