Beyond Borders: Where Hope Survives (2003)

Posted: May 21, 2011 in Adventure, Drama, Romance

Sarah Jordan has always been a woman of privilege. While attending an AIDS benefit, Nick Callahan barges in to make a statement about the lack of funding in Ethiopia by bringing one of the starving children with him. After getting arrested and losing the child, Sarah feels a change in her and decides that she needs to see the plight of the third world herself. Setting off for Ethiopia and leaving behind her family, Sarah immediately comes face to face with the harsh realities of thieves, disease and famine. Reconnecting with the bold Nick Callahan and working with a band of caring advocates, she slowly learns how to survive and help with the refugee camp. Her adventure continues as she travels to Cambodia and Chechnya, both to continue finding ways to help volatile lands and figure out the feelings she has for Nick.

Starring: Angelina Jolie (Sarah Jordan), Clive Owen (Nick Callahan), Teri Polo (Charlotte Jordan), Linus Roache (Henry Bauford), Noah Emmerich (Elliott Hauser), Yorick van Wageningen (Steiger), Jonathan Higgins (Philip), Kate Trotter (Mrs. Bauford),

Angelina Jolie leads this cast as the caring adventurers as she looks to mimic her real world work in this film. Her character goes through a significant transformation early on, as her privilege is quickly overshadowed by the humility she feels when she travels overseas. Her changes can be seen later in the film when she is more distraught over the plights of people in other nations than excited over her person success. Clive Owen serves first as Jolie’s figure of influence and later as her greatest love interest. He maintains a very determined demeanor, enough so that he eventually chooses to take more riskier paths than rely on the “kindness” of international aid organizations. Teri Polo makes a few appearances as Jolie’s sister, Linus Roache plays Jolie’s unfaithful, rich husband and Noah Emmerich serves as the hope that keeps Jolie engaged in charity.

Martin Campbell’s piece is two very different movies in one. On the one hand, it is a love story that uses the international issues of violence and oppression to bring together two positive souls to do what they can to alleviate the pain. While she does not realize it initially, she is highly attracted to Nick because of his adventurous nature and her equally thrill-seeking personality. The other side of the story is the plight worldwide of populations suffering from a number of different problems. Similar to the international episodes of ER, this film tries to put a picture to the international issues to allow the American public to have a better sense of what is happening outside of their bubbles. As much as the main characters fought to help people in each nation they visited, there was always more trouble than they could ever combat.

Beyond Borders is an adventurous, emotional film that helps to bring light to problems existing beyond the borders of the US.

Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5


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