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In need of aid

Gerardo Helguero of Glendale is a computer technician.

Martin Campbell’s “Beyond Borders” plays out like a dry lecture on

refugee aid with a feeble love story straining to move the action

forward.

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The refugees, as depicted in this film, are often little more than

thousands of silhouettes, walking statistics, not human beings at all

-- precisely the soulless perception the film wants to protest.

Angelina Jolie’s character, Sarah, is a naive but earnest woman who

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gives time and money to relief efforts in a famine-stricken desert in

Ethiopia and the war-torn jungles of Cambodia.

In the process, she falls in love with a determined doctor (Clive

Owen), but his idealism makes the pressing needs of the people he

serves take precedence over their personal relationship.

In a moment of vulnerability that feels unconvincing, the thick-

skinned doctor confesses to Sarah that he would rather not say the

names of the people he meets because that acknowledgment becomes too

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painful when they are taken from him.

Unfortunately, not one refugee’s name is memorable because they

are, inadvert- ently one would hope, treated as props and not fully

developed characters. This film’s storytelling techniques should also

fall into oblivion.

* “Beyond Borders” is rated R for language and war-related

violence.


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