Politics, the hunger for power, and corrupt government officials scrambling for mineral-rich territories spawned civil war in Africa and created conflict zones where the scale of destruction is unimaginable.
Hundreds and thousands of people have been slaughtered in military coups or emotionally destroyed through rape and gender-based violence or have been victims of unspeakable human rights violations.
The civilians who managed to survive the decimation were forced to flee to safety from rebels sowing terror in their regions, making up more than nine million refugees and internally displaced people without resources to form a new life. It is a suffering that knows no end.
The Last Face is brought to the screen by a group of filmmakers and actors who coincidentally all happen to be humanitarians in their own right and unquestionably this resonance was their motivation to work with the very difficult material.
The film is about the love affair between Dr. Wren Petersen (Charlize Theron), director of an international aid organization, and Dr. Miguel Leon (Javier Bardem), a relief-aid doctor.
Set against war-torn Liberia, Miguel and Wren must find a way to keep their relationship alive in extraordinarily difficult conditions battling their mutual passion for the value of life matched by the intensity of their diametrically opposed opinions on how best to solve the conflict that surrounds them.
Directed by two-time Academy Award® winner Sean Penn, The Last Face also stars Jared Harris, and celebrated French actors Jean Reno and Adèle Exarchopoulos.
An activist himself and champion of refugees, Javier Bardem co-produced and starred in Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony, a film documenting how the colonization of the Western Sahara has left nearly 200,000 people living in refugee camps.
The development process of getting the picture off the ground was just 13 months. Bardem, already on board, was speaking about actors to play opposite him in the role of Wren. First and foremost on the list happened to be Charlize Theron, who apart from being an extraordinary actor is also a humanitarian who runs her own NGO that helps AIDS orphans in South Africa. She was a perfect contrast, both physically and emotionally to Javier.
The Last Face opens exclusively in Ayala Malls Cinemas on Sept. 13.