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U.S., 2001
Written and directed by Leon Ichaso
Starring Benjamin Bratt, Talisa Soto, Giancarlo Esposito, Griffin Dunne
Approx. 103 min. 35mm print courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Biopic of Nuyorican prison inmate turned poet Miguel Piñero (his play Short Eyes became an acclaimed film), starring Benjamin Bratt in what Times critic Stephen Holden called “a career-defining performance.” Wrote Lynn Geller for Bomb, “With PIÑERO, Ichaso found the ultimate marginal character, who, conversely, succeeds... It’s a tribute to Ichaso that he has made a biographical film that transcends the genre. With an obvious sympathy for his subject, a collage-like structure and innovative use of dialogue, PIÑERO manages to replace voyeurism with a masterful blend of form and content.”

Benjamin Bratt and Leon Ichaso Talk PIÑERO


“A cinematic style that is too often used to camouflage a lack of structure and narrative cohesion here becomes an effective metaphor for Piñero's chaotic life and for his free-form streetwise poetry … The screenplay is mercifully free of moralizing, and although Piñero fits the cliché of a charismatic damned poet, the movie's myth-making machinery doesn't go overboard.”
– Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Feels like the cinematic embodiment of the very Nuyorican pulse it heralds.”
– Ed Gonzalez, Slant

“PIÑERO’S best aspect by far is its soundtrack of numerous flavorsome ’70s soul, salsa, jazz and pop tracks.”
– Dennis Harvey, Variety

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