Break Of Dawn

A docudrama about Pedro J. Gonzalez (Oscar Chavez), the first Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S. and a former revolutionary who defended his fellow Mexicans from racial attacks during the Depression and who was eventually sent to prison on trumped-up rape charges as a means of silencing him politically. Written and directed by Isaac Artenstein, the film, which is largely in English, benefits from its careful attention to period detail (including an interesting use of color archival footage). There’s some awkwardness in the two-dimensionality and declamatory acting style of the gringo villainsan unsavory bunch headed by LA district attorney Kyle Mitchell (Peter Henry Schroeder), who bears a striking resemblance to George Bushbut the interest of the story keeps the film watchable. With Maria Rojo, Tony Plana, and Pepe Serna (1988). (JR)

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