and Islamic North African sure have some history together, don’t they? Seville homicide
inspector Javier Falcón still has close personal ties to the region. As a result,
he has been recruited by the Spanish Feds to help run Yacub Diouri, an old
friend who has gone undercover with a Moroccan Islamist terror group. Falcón
recognizes signs of unusual stress in Diouri, but he is inconveniently distracted
when the Russian mob strikes close to home in Manuel Gómez Pereira’s The Ignorance of Blood (trailer here), which releases today on DVD
from Omnibus Entertainment.
a complicated family tree. Somehow, he is the older half-brother of Dario
Jimenez, the ten-ish-year-old son of Falcón’s widowed girlfriend Consuelo.
Evidently, old man Jimenez got around. Diouri has his own son Abdula, who is about
the same age as Dario. Much to Diouri’s distress, the group he is infiltrating
has been radicalizing and recruiting his son through an uncle figure. Of course,
at Abdula’s age that means only one thing: suicide bomber.
Abdula is not the child most in jeopardy. During the course of his
investigation into a civil war between rival Russian mob factions, young
Jimenez is kidnapped. The ransom is the eight million Euros and a hard drive
full of potential blackmail footage taken into evidence when a mobster
defecting to the upstart splinter group had a rather untimely traffic accident.
it matters, the Islamists come out of Blood
looking slightly more psychotic and unsavory than the Russian syndicate, so
let’s hear it for the “Thieves By Law.” Regardless, the hinge between the two
narratives is sort of clever, but not in a way that does Falcón any favors.
When it rains for the Inspector, it pours, but since this is Spain, it must
fall mainly on the plain.
Juan Diego Botto is not exactly an electric presence, his strong silent thing
wears well on viewers over time. He establishes a comfort level as Falcón that
will serve him well if the character goes to franchise. Paz Vega is perfectly
adequate as the distraught mother, but it is not exactly the challenging sort
of role actors long to sink their teeth into. By far, the most intriguing
figure in the film is Diouri, whom Alberto San Juan fleshes out quite nicely.
That whole bit about his secret affair with a closeted member of the Saudi
royal family is definitely good character building detail.
Nicolás Saad’s adaption of British mystery writer Robert Wilson’s novel often
lacks clarity, particularly when it comes to the spider’s web of relationships
connecting the characters. It is also impossible to tell the one Russian gangster
from another. The absence of a colorful, catalyzing villain is a real shortcoming,
but at least the various Macguffins are intriguing.
One thing is clear in
Blood. It is a dangerous world out
there. Pereira keeps the pace chugging along and deftly exploits the exotic
Moroccan settings during the third act. The stakes increase rather precipitously
with Falcón’s personal angst, but it is still a rather comfortable film for Eurocrime
fans to slip into as a home viewing option. Recommended as a geopolitically
aware, meat-and-potatoes thriller, The
Ignorance of Blood is now available on regular DVD from Film Movement’s
Labels: DVD, Spanish Cinema, Terrorism in film