Carla's Song

Watch Carla's Song

"A dream called freedom. A nightmare called Nicaragua."
  • TV-MA
  • 1996
  • 6.8  (3,464)

Carla's Song is a 1996 movie directed by Ken Loach, starring Robert Carlyle, Oyanka Cabezas, and Scott Glenn. This drama is set during the late 1980s against a background of the Sandinista government and guerrillas fighting the Contras in Nicaragua. It's a heart-wrenching story of a young woman's fight for love and survival amidst political turmoil.

The movie focuses on the Scottish bus driver George Lennox (Robert Carlyle), a lonely and depressed man who finds himself in love with Carla (Oyanka Cabezas), a Nicaraguan immigrant who recently lost her family in the war. Carla works as a waitress in a Glasgow café where George frequents. At first, George is abrupt and tough towards Carla, but as their relationship develops, they become very close.

Carla decides to go back to Nicaragua to find out what happened to her family and to help in the fight against the Contras. The trauma of the war has left her with a deep sense of guilt and a feeling of helplessness. George - despite the dangers and the risks - follows Carla to Nicaragua to be with her.

The contrast between George's mundane life in Glasgow and the violent world of Nicaragua is stark. The film shows the brutal reality of the civil war, with scenes of soldiers killing innocent civilians, children being trained as guerrillas, and torture. Carla's Song portrays the Contras and the Sandinistas as opposing forces of equal brutality, with the civilians being caught in the middle.

In Nicaragua, George and Carla travel across the country, meeting people who tell their stories of suffering and pain. They witness the harsh realities of the war and the political repression. Their journey culminates in a trip through the war-torn countryside to Carla's hometown, where they discover the gruesome fate of her family.

Carla's Song deals with themes such as the traumatic effects of war and displacement, the nature of political activism, and the power of love. George matures as he learns about the realities of life in Nicaragua and develops a deeper understanding of Carla's motivations, recognising the importance of political struggle for social justice.

The acting in the movie is excellent. Robert Carlyle, as usual, gives an outstanding performance. He portrays a man torn by his love for Carla, his guilt over his past, his sense of duty, and his fear of danger. Oyanka Cabezas is equally good, portraying a strong, determined woman who never loses her strength and dignity despite the horrors she has endured. Her relationship with George is genuine and deeply moving, and convincingly portrays the power of love to overcome adversity.

The cinematography in Carla's Song is excellent. The film's use of colour is striking, with intense, vivid hues of blue for George's memories of his past, and warm, earthy tones for Nicaragua's urban scenes. The film's numerous outdoor shots of Nicaragua's countryside are breathtakingly beautiful, while the characteristic Scottish clouds and rain add a melancholic feeling to the Glasgow scenes.

In conclusion, Carla's Song is a moving, powerful, and ultimately uplifting movie that tells a compelling story of love and political struggle in times of war. With its realistic portrayal of the violence and political turmoil of 1980s Nicaragua and its heartfelt message of hope and human compassion, Carla's Song is a timeless movie that continues to resonate today. Loach created a masterpiece that can be regarded as one of his best works, where realism is mixed with emotions, and politics meets romance.

Carla's Song is a 1996 war movie. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.

Carla's Song
Where to Watch Carla's Song
Carla's Song is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download on demand at Amazon Prime and Fandor. Some platforms allow you to rent Carla's Song for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (3,464)