In 1985, Sarah Jordan (Angelina Jolie) recently married American woman from an upper-class background, is living in London with her husband Henry (Linus Roache). Her life changes when she meets Nick Callahan (Clive Owen), a doctor who works at an Ethiopian relief camp and is seeking support for his efforts. Sarah is moved to visit the camp, where she is deeply affected by what she encounters, as Nick and his team labour selflessly in impossible conditions, surrounded by pain and death.
 

3
The love story takes a back seat with politics of aid work being at the fore-front.

Old-fashioned grand passions are a rarity these days in the cinema - have we become too cynical as audiences? In Martin Campbell\'s latest film Beyond Borders an international aid worker strikes a spark in a well-to-do London wife. The two protagonists connect first in 1984 when Nick Callahan, Clive Owen, berates the posh people attending a Black and White Ball which is raising funds for international aid agencies. Apparently because of the political situation aid is being cut to the particular part of Ethiopia where Nick is trying to keep two thousand children alive. Recently married Sarah Jordan, Angelina Jolie , is horrified at what she hears and resolves to accompany forty thousand pounds worth of aid to Nick\'s camp. The scenes in this camp are heart-wrenching, the people are devastated from famine and drought. Nick sneers at Sarah for being a rich do-gooder although his colleague Elliot, Noah Emmerich, admires her spirit and her efforts. Five years later Elliot seeks out Sarah in London for help. He and Nick are working in Cambodia and before long she joins them in their humanitarian efforts in the area dominated by the Kmer Rouge.

It\'s obvious the filmmakers are committed to bringing some of the harsher realities of the world to the screen and exploring the difficulties under which aid workers operate much of the time. Compromises for the sake of supplies are rife. So there\'s a reality to many of the scenes in the camps that is deeply affecting. The love story is pretty much back-ground to the politics of aid work but you believe in the growing connection between the two over the years. Perhaps the melding of the two strands doesn\'t work quite as well as it should, the screenplay by first time writer Caspian Tredwell-Owen lacks subtlety at times. But Clive Owen is charismatic as the impassioned doctor and Angelina Jolie, particularly in the early scenes, brings a reality to Sarah, despite her wardrobe.

Related videos

Details

M
2 hours 7 min