Preachy but undeniably powerful, Carla's Song is classic Ken Loach agit-prop. Travelling from the slums of Glasgow to the war-torn villages of Nicaragua, this low-key drama is a precariously balanced two-hander in which cocksure Scots bus-driver George (Robert Carlyle) falls in love with suicidal Nicaraguan refugee Carla (Oyanka Cabezas). Taking a walk on the wild side with her in Contra country, he learns the truth about the CIA-sponsored destruction of her homeland as US Pres Ronald Reagan and co, who fund the right-wing rebels, attempt to overthrow the democratically elected Sandinista government.
Trimming some of the fat from the original, Loach's re-edited Director's Cut is extra lean. Unnecessary scenes featuring George's family have been excised, as has the unlikely Hollywood moment where Scott Glenn's gruff American volunteer-worker blasts away with an AK-47. What we're left with is a bittersweet romance and a timely reminder that America isn't always the enemy of terrorism.