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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Four Days in September
Directed by Bruno Barreto
Miramax 12/97 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R -- some language, violence
This low-key and highly intelligent Brazilian film set in 1969 deals with the complexities of political action. Fernando Gabeira, a left-wing journalist, joins the "October 8th Revolutionary Movement" under the leadership of Comrade Maria. While robbing a bank, one of the new recruits is captured. Gabeira comes up with the idea of kidnapping Charles Burke Elbrick, the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, as a means of gaining the release of 15 political prisoners. Several revolutionaries with terrorist backgrounds arrive to help the guerillas pull off the operation.
Based on true events, Four Days in September is directed by Bruno Barreto (Dona Flora and Her Two Husbands). He has fashioned this story in such a way that we can walk in the shoes of the young idealists in the guerilla movement, as well as those of the frightened but dignified ambassador, and even those of a secret service officer from the military regime who tortures prisoners. Pedro Cardoso gives a stirring performance as Gabeira, and Alan Arkin is outstanding as the U.S. ambassador.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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