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Tears of the Sun (2003)

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NOTE: These commentaries are only available on the original DVD release. The June 2005 "Director's Extended Cut" does not have any commentary tracks.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Antoine Fuqua Rating:6.3/10 (3 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on April 6th, 2020:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
Fuqua goes silently several times throughout, and I would have suspectd that he was censored for some of his opinions, as he does feel strongly about the subject matter, but that was probably not the case since he does still impart quite a bit. He is proud to be a patriot and praises the US military for doing their job, that it is not political for them. He came to this project because he wanted to call attention to genocides and atrocities in Africa, and as a filmmaker, this is his voice. He seeks to entertain while providing truth and informing the viewer on events in Africa.

Fuqua is certainly passionate about the subject matter and speaks intelligently about it. Those seeking nuts and bolts technical information about making this film will not find many secrets revealed, however. Fuqua was adamant on setting the film in Nigeria, not some fake nation, as originally scripted. He notes that they could not film in Africa due to security concerns, danger and the risk involved in a post 9-11 world, so they filmed in Hawaii instead, which featured similar plantlife. He insisted on bringing real Africans to Hawaii, which entailed some challenges to transporting them and obtaining work permits. While in Hawaii, these African actors encountered some modern conveniences that were wholly new to them. At times, some of the film subject matter struck emotional nerves hearkening to what they had endured in their lives.

The US Navy was a great help to the production, providing access to jets and aircraft carriers, and even went above and beyond so Fuqua could be with his wife for the birth of his child. worked with a military advisor, Harry Humphries, who put the actors through grueling training, all in an effort to maintain realism and an authenticity of what Seals would do in combat or on missions. While the battle scenes were challenging, they worked because of the on point training on tactics, formations that Humphries had offered to the actors.

Fuqua was frustrated but evaded studio pressure for him to create a love story between the Willis and Bellucci characters.

Fuqua praises Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard who fashioned an emotionial score that fit the tone of the movie.
Commentary 2: Screenwriters Alex Lasker and Patrick Cirillo Rating:2.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on April 6th, 2020:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
Labeled as writers observations, this track lasts only 17 minutes. 17 minutes! In this time, they talk about their motivations for the story, how it was adapted somewhat by Fuqua and another writer, once the director came on board. They talk about some excised storylines that would have made the film more divergent politically. They originally wrote the Seals as Delta Force but for the simplicity of working with just one branch of the military, they switched it to the Navy Seals. They note that writers working in this genre need to learn about arms and tactics to authentic scenes. While their script was adapted somewhat, the writers feel that their original idea remains: a war movie, with a background in real life atrocities and civil war. They hope that the story will resonate and that more will become aware of the plight in Africa as a result of this film.