Noriega: Gods Favorite
Bob Hoskins stars in this character study of the final years of Panamanian General Manuel Noriega’s outrageous reign. Once the most powerful figure in Central America, “Tony” Noriega has become a fugitive and is taking refuge in the Vatican Embassy. American troops have surrounded the building with tanks and want to extradite him for narcotics trafficking. His own people want him deposed or, more likely, dead. Noriega prepares to be taken into custody, but before he goes, he makes his confession to Father Jorge (John Verea). As he unfolds his life story to the priest, he reflects on significant events: his exposure by former friend Colonel Diaz-Herrera (Tony Plana), the unsuccessful coup by his officer Major Giroldi (Nestor Carbonell), and the struggle between his mistress and his strict Catholic wife. Looking back, Noriega is quite sure of one thing. He knows with all his heart that to have survived this long, he must truly be “God’s favorite.” First airs on Showtime, 4/2/00, at 8:00 P.M. (ET/PT).
This TV-film presents a brilliant performance by the star and a disturbing fact that although America is only 4% of the world’s population, we use over 60% of the world’s illegal drugs. It points out hypocrisy and corruption in the realm of politics and of men brought up on church doctrine, but who never indicate a relationship with Christ. It is a well-made film, but it would no doubt have received an R rating if it had been released theatrically. Most Christians would find the profane language and brutal violence unsuitable for family viewing. In my video alternative, “The Scarlet and the Black,” a man, blinded by his powerful position finds redemption through the tenacity of a devote priest.