This film opens with a title card which states the following: "The improbability of events depicted in this film is the surest indication that they actually did occur." ... this is an excellent statement to get the audience in the right frame of mine for what is not only a true story, but also an absurdly fascinating one. Directed by Bruce Beresford, the film depicts the true account of legendary filmmaker DW Griffiths attempt to capture the Mexican Revolution on celluloid. Approached by notorious revolutionary general Pancho Villa, The Mutual Film Company & Griffiths agree to film Villa's exploits and send along the studio boss's nephew to head up the film. At first it seems almost impossible to truly capture the nature of war on film and the 2 reel film they produce is laughed off by the film industry. Determined to successfully produce a groundbreaking combat piece, the Hollywood team return to the revolution and attempt to combine real war with the usual manipulations of cinema. Make up, set pieces, script, etc... all the while the ruthless Pancho Villa is in total control over his surroundings. Its a really weird story and had I not already studied Pancho Villa and DW Griffiths then I would have had trouble believing what I was seeing. The film looks good and Antonio Banderas is excellent in the charismatic lead role. He conveys charm and menace with the same breath and gives the movie it's anchor. It was produced for HBO films, however, it was deemed good enough for a theatrical release. The production values are great.