“The Dictator” Kills

COOList Hollywood Insider Scoop

It’s always exciting when you are witness history being made, and I was one of those witnesses at the first advance screening of Felix Limardo’s feature film Kill the Dictator/El Teniente Amado.

Amaury Nolasco plays Lt. Guerrero and Enrique Castillo as Johnny Abbes
Amaury Nolasco plays Lt. Guerrero and Enrique Castillo as Johnny Abbes

Limardo, who shot the film in the Dominican Republic has accomplished something that has never been done before; he shot the film with a bilingual cast and instead of one film, he ended up with two — one in Spanish and one in English.

Even before shooting the film Limardo, as a condition for consideration of a distribution deal, would have to deliver a film in English, but the Dominican Republic tax incentive which enabled him to raise the money, required the film be shot  in Spanish…so he did both.

Kill the Dictator is the story of Rafael Trujillo, the brutal dictator who ruled the Dominican Republic with an iron fist for 30 years.  At the heart of the story is Lt. Amado Garcia Guerrero whose life is turned upside down when he is faced with being loyal to a tyrannical government or doing the right thing.

Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break) is riveting as Lt. Guerrero whose marriage to Carmen, passionately played by Mercedes Renard (Meddling Mom), is shattered when duty calls.  Efrain Figueroa plays the deranged and enraged Trujillo and Enrique Castillo’s commanding performance as Johnny Abbes “send chills down your spine with a mere glance” as one of the ten audience members in attendance commented.

Killthe Dictator
At the screening with actor Enrique Castillo (L); director Felix Limardo (3rd from left); Denny Feliz, Prod. Coordinator; Associate Producer Fernando Antonio Gomez (5th from left) with wife Elizabeth; Sara Perez, UPM; Editor Luis Carballar (R) and actor Brett Stimely in forefront

Limardo has set the precedent by using a bilingual cast with a mix of U.S. American actors and Dominican locals to produce two film without the need to dub his lead characters.

The skillful editing by Luis Carballar keeps the action taut and suspenseful. The beautiful landscape of the Dominican Republic serves as the story background, allowing it to transcend eras since many of the scenes were shot in actual locations where the story enfolds.

With this new paradigm the distribution options open up a variety of avenues that Limardo, through his company Maireni Films, can explore, and he has plans to take full advantage of that opportunity.

Kill the Dictator is a film you will be hearing a lot about in the coming year.  But remember, you heard it here first.

— Bel Hernandez