“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”
Spoiler Alert: Dawn Patrol Surprise Ending – Only Here on Latin Heat
By Elia Esparza
Julie Carmen currently stars in the controversial indie surf film Dawn Patrol opposite Scott Eastwood, Rita Wilson, Jeff Fahey, Kim Matula, Chris Brochu, David James Elliott, Mauricio Mendoza, and Gabriel De Santi. Since Julie’s role epitomizes the human consequence of violence that’s caused by racism and xenophobia, Julie has opened up about the collateral damage of racial profiling.
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the movie, Latin Heat was given permission to show an exclusive clip between Julie’s character “Laura Rivera” and Scott Eastwood’s “John” at the end of the movie. Here, a grieving mother has a confrontation with her son’s murderer—a tragedy that transpired over misunderstandings and misperceptions. Will she make good on her revenge? Let’s see:
According to Latin Heat columnist and movie historian Luis Reyes, “Julie Carmen brings an air of Greek tragedy to her portrayal that is way above the aspirations of this film but fits nicely into the somewhat muddled yet powerful final confrontation scene.”
“Holding a gun to his head, John (Eastwood) leads her to the buried remains of her son who has been missing for over a year. Carmen exacts her own sly revenge that will bring an end to the cycle of violence that any parent and especially a mother would understand,” Reyes added. “Although it would be very hard not to pull the trigger when a grieving mother catches first sight of the exposed remains of the rotting corpse of her son uncovered in an unmarked grave in the sand.”
“My character makes the decision that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” Julie said, “and Laura Rivera becomes the one person who ultimately stops the cycle of violence.”
“Julie’s role symbolizes all mothers from time immortal who have lost a child to senseless violence. Laura’s resolution haunts John for the rest of his life,” stated Reyes.
Latinopia Julie on Dawn Patrol:
Dawn Patrol delivers a story about a blue-collar working class community who resent Mexicans, who they believe are invading their locals-only beach neighborhood and taking their jobs.
Some critics have panned the movie because it doesn’t sugar coat the overt racism and misogyny present in some American towns. Anti Latino slurs and degrading attitudes towards women are upfront and center, but it’s intention is to hold a mirror up to society. Rita Wilson’s role as the fun-loving, hard- partying-pothead -mom is not unusual—especially in the type of beach community they live in. The Latino family is rich. The Anglo family is poor. Ultimately, while the two mothers are as different as day and night. They have a common thread in that each is grieving the death of a son and each wants to extract revenge.
Dawn Patrol forces us to talk about the problems in our society and it would have been a truly great film if there had been more backstory on the Latino family. Why are they rich? Laura’s son Miguel (Gabriel De Santi) was killed by mistaken identity, it would have been great if we would have gotten to know him better in order for us to truly understand the depth of Laura’s grief.
Donna (Kim Matula) the young lady in the middle of this love triangle between the young surfing champion and rich Latino teenager represents so many others who have lied about dating a person of color because their parents and/or peers disapprove. How many young men are in jail for rapes they never committed against a white girl? Fear, or in Donna’s case, lack of parental guidance, leads to a domino effect of tragedies.
It is so gratifying to see Julie Carmen back on the big screen where she belongs. A distinguished actress who has starred in films for directors Robert Redford, John Cassavetes, Michael Mann and John Carpenter, returns. At the height of her career, Julie made a bold move to take a few years off to parent and to attend graduate school.
Dawn Patrol is directed by Daniel Petrie, Jr., written by Rachel Long and Brian Pittman, produced by Rick Dugdale, Daniel Petrie, Jr. and Scott Eastwood through Enderby Entertainment, and is available on iTunes.
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Latinopia Interview on her Female Roles: