Set in Texas after the Civil War, ‘News of Great World‘, is starring Tom Hanks as Captain Kidd, a former Confederate officer and now a traveling artist who travels from town to town to read newspaper articles to people hungry for national and international news.
When Kidd he meets the young woman Johanna (Helena Zengel) along the way, she discovers that she has been raised by the Kiowa nation since her family was murdered six years earlier.
And so Kidd sets out on an epic journey south to reunite Johanna with her aunt and uncle, only to find that Johanna is determined to reunite with the Kiowa people who she believes to be her real family.
Adapted by Luke Davies and Paul Greengrass from Paulette Jiles’ novel, with Greengrass’s direction, ‘Big World News’ is a neo-Westerner with a fascinating backdrop: Kidd and Johanna negotiate a poverty-stricken Wild West that simmers with Confederate rage at what they perceive as Yankee occupation.
Meanwhile, on the grasslands, the last vestiges of the Kiowa nation are still at large and preparing to do their final battle against the white invader.
Tom Hanks is perfectly portrayed as the avuncular Kidd, a man who mindlessly assumes that civilization – that is, being raised as an American child is best for Johanna.
The film functions as something of a sequel to The Searchers (Paul Greengrass even pays homage to the classic shot in which John Wayne’s bigoted Indian killer Ethan Edwards appears framed in the doorway near the end of that film), with the hero forced to rethink his acceptance of cultural norms, and especially those of white supremacy imposed by violence and massacre.
The cinematographer Dariusz Wolski makes excellent use of the stark, lunar landscape, Helena Zengel provides excellent support, and in addition to an unlikely plot twist or two, Greengrass delivers a western that is gritty, cuddly, and timely. Currently ‘Las Noticias del Gran Mundo’ is available on the most famous streaming platform known as Netflix.
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