Dictatorship Filmography, 1982-1999

Pra Frente Brasil/Go Ahead, Brazil (1982), d. Roberto Farias.

A middle-class apolitical man is mistaken for a political activist and brutally tortured by the military as the country enjoys the thrill of the 1970 World Cup and the booming economy. The film caused the resignation of the president of the state enterprise for film, Embrafilme,  at the time but was eventually released without cuts in 1983.

Guedes, Wallace Andrioli. “Roberto Farias e a lógica do duplo-pensar no caso da censura ao filme Pra frente, Brasil.” Topoi (Rio J.) [online]. 2014, vol.15, n.28 [cited  2019-04-30], pp.187-208. <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2237-101X2014000100187&lng=en&nrm=iso&gt;. ISSN 2237-101X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2237-101X015028007.

Nunca fomos tão felizes/Happier than Ever (1984). d. Murilo Salles.

Based on a short story by Gilberto Noll called “Something, Urgently” (Alguma coisa urgentemente), the film tells the story of the son of guerrilla fighter who had been sent to a religious boarding school when he was a kid. After eight years, father and son are reunited in Rio de Janeiro.

Noll, João Gilberto. “Something, Urgently,” Travesia: Journal of Latin American Studies 2 (1993), 5-13.

Paziani, Rodrigo Ribeiro et al. “Utopia e anti-utopia no cinema brasileiro: Dilemas e perspectivas sobre a ditadura empresarial-militar em O desafio (1965) e Nunca Fomos Tão Felizes (1984)”. Montajes 6 Jan-Jul 2006. 63-85.

Cabra marcado para morrer/Twenty Years Later (1984), d. Eduardo Countinho.

Eduardo Coutinho tells the story of the protagonists of a film he was directing in 1964 about the assassination of peasant leader João Pedro Teixeira. The film was suddenly interrupted by the military regime and Coutinho returns to Paraíba to meet the widow and her family and finish the film 17 years later.

Menezes, P. R. A Questão Do Herói-Sujeito Em Cabra Marcado Para Morrer: Filme De Eduardo Coutinho. Tempo Social, Vol. 6, nº 1/2, 1, p. 107-26, doi:10.1590/ts.v6i1/2.85114.

Que Bom te Ver Viva/How Good to See You Alive (1989), d. Lúcia Murat.

Based on the director’s own experiences during the military dictatorship, Que Bom Te Ver Viva focuses on the long-lasting trauma of torture. Twenty years later, the nightmares and fantasies of the nameless protagonist are complemented with testimonies from eight different former female political prisoners who survived torture.

Foster, David William. “Que bom te ver viva” in Gender & Society in Contemporary Brazilian Cinema. Austin: UT Press, 1999. (96-103).


Corpo em Delito/The Body of the Crime (1990), d. Nuno
César Abreu.

The forensic doctor Dr. Athos Moreira Brasil (Lima Duarte) served the dictatorship by providing fraudulent death certificates for victims of torture and assassination. Twenty years later he is tormented by the memory of finding the body of his own daughter, Sílvia, an activist murdered by the repression.

Abreu, Nuno César. Golpe de Vista – Cinema e Ditadura Militar na América Latina. São Paulo: Espaço Alameda, 2018.


Lamarca (1994) d. Sérgio Rezende.

Lamarca reenacts the last two years of the life of army captain Carlos Lamarca (Paulo Betti), from his desertion from the army in 1969 to his death in 1971. As the leader of one of the main guerrilla groups that fought the dictatorship, Lamarca evolves politically as he is relentlessly persecuted by the police and the army.

Review in English at https://variety.com/1994/film/reviews/lamarca-1200438956/



O que é isso, companheiro?/Four Days in September (1997), d. Bruno Barreto.

Political thriller film  produced by the director’s parents Lucy and Luiz Carlos Barreto. It is a fictional version of the 1969 kidnapping of the United States Ambassador to Brazil, Charles Burke Elbrick, by members of by members of Revolutionary Movement 8th October (MR-8) and Ação Libertadora Nacional (ALN).

Paulo Moreira, ” Compulsive Memory:  The Endurance of 1969 in Brazil,” Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinemas, 16.2 (2019), pp. 233-250.

Ação entre Amigos/Friendly Fire (1998), d. Beto Brant.

25 years after their ordeal in the regime’s dungeons, four former guerrillas get together again when one of them finds out their ruthless torturer is still alive. The action moves between the past and the present and reveals a group torn between the desire for vengeance and the suspicion that one of them might have been a traitor.

Novais, A. (2013). “Cinema e memória da ditadura no Brasil (1964-1985): uma análise do filme ‘Ação Entre Amigos”’ (1998), Revista Extraprensa, 6(1), 56-66. https://doi.org/10.11606/extraprensa2012.77265


Dois Córregos: Verdades sumersas no tempo/Two Streams (1999), d. Carlos Reichenbach.

Because of a land dispute, a woman (Beth Goulart) returns to her small cottage in southern Brazil. There she remembers her formative experience in her teenage years, when she and her friends met a militant hiding from the military repression during the Dictatorship.

Complete script: http://aplauso.imprensaoficial.com.br/edicoes/12.0.812.942/12.0.812.942.pdf