Dictatorship Filmography, 1999-2009

Barra 68: Sem Perder a Ternura/Barra 68: Without Losing Tenderness (2001), d. Vladimir Carvalho.

This documentary focuses on the Universidade de Brasília, created in 1960s as a cutting-edge new institution of higher learning. The university was invaded by troops in 1964 and suffered violent interventions throughout the military dictatorship, culminating with the arrest of 500 students in 1968, when most of the university’s faculty resigned in protest.

Marighella:  Retrado Falado do guerrilheiro/ Marighella:  Spoken Portrait of the Guerrilla (2001) d. Vladimir Carvalho.

Documentary on the life and works of Carlos Marighella, leader of the ALN (Aliança Libertadora Nacional) assassinated in 1969.

Tempo de Resistência/Time for Resistence (2003), d. André Ristum.

Using archival images and interviews with 30 different people involved in the resistance to the dictatorship, André Ristum tells the story of a generation, from the coup d’état in 1964 to the Amnesty in 1979. Based on Leopoldo Paulino’s memoirs  of the same name that compiled testmonies from former guerrilla fighters.

No olho do furacão/Eye of the Hurricane (2003), d. Renato Tapajós and Toni Venturi.

Documentary with various interviews with former guerrilla members, focusing on their fears, hopes and dreams during the period of the early 70s, when they were engaged in a confrontation with government forces.

Review: http://www.casla.com.br/casla/filmes/cadfilme1.asp?tit=No+olho+do+Furac%E3o+(Dire%E7%E3o:+Renato+Tapaj%F3s+e+Toni+Venturi+)


Araguaya, a conspiração de silêncio/ Araguaya: The Conspiracy of Silence (2004), d. Ronaldo Duque.

A French priest who has lived in Araguaia since the early 60’s witnesses an incipient rural guerrilla being chased and exterminated in the jungles and backlands where they hid. The story recounts the last armed movement against the military dictatorship, in which young inexperienced militants faced brutal army repression.

Memórias clandestinas/Clandestine Memories (2004), d. Maria Thereza Azevedo.

Memórias Clandestinas tells the story of Alexina Crespo, member of the Ligas Camponesas that fought for peasant labor and land rights in the northeast from 1950 to 1964. We also learn about her experiences during her long exile that lasted until 1979.

Quase Dois Irmãos/Almost Brothers (2004), D. Lúcia Murat.

A lifelong friendship contrasts race, class, and perceptions of the world. Miguel comes from a middle-class white background while Jorge is a black man from a Favela. They get to know each other in the late 50’s, when they are kids, and meet again in the early 70’s when they are in prison (Miguel as a political prisoner and Jorge as a common criminal). After the dictatorship, Miguel, now a politician, visits Jorge once again in prison.

Review in English: https://variety.com/2004/film/reviews/almost-brothers-1200530514/


Cabra-cega/Playing in the Dark (2004), d. Toni Venturi.

In the early 1970’s three young people meet at an apartment where one of them is confined to hide and recover from a wound in a police confrontation. There they are forced to confront their personal and political options amidst hopes and frustrations as the government security forces close in.

Complete Script: https://aplauso.imprensaoficial.com.br/edicoes/12.0.813.088/12.0.813.088.pdf








Vlado, 30 anos depois/Vlado, 30 Years Later (2005), d. João Batista de Andrade.

This documentary focuses on the biography of journalist Vladimir Herzog, with interviews with family and colleagues, among them the director himslef. Herzog was arrested, tortured and killed by the political police in 1975, and the subsequent protests marked the return to non-violent civil protests against the dictatorship.

Complete script: http://aplauso.imprensaoficial.com.br/edicoes/12.0.813.641/12.0.813.641.pdf

O ano em que meus pais saíram de férias/The Year my Parents Went on Vacation (2006) d. Cao Hamburger.

In 1970 a twelve-year-old boy lives a quiet life with his parents in Belo Horizonte. His life turns upside down when his parents claim to go on vacation and leave him with his paternal grandfather, who he has never met. Mauro’s parents are actually trying to evade political persecution and when his grandfather suddenly dies Mauro watches the World Cup and tries to make sense of the world with the help of his grandfather’s neighbor in the Jewish neighborhood of São Paulo. 

Complete Script: http://aplauso.imprensaoficial.com.br/edicoes/12.0.813.445/12.0.813.445.pdf

Sonhos e Desejos/Dreams and Desires (2006), d. Marcelo Santiago.

Based on the novel Balé da Utopia by Álvaro Caldas. A couple hides a young guerrilla in their apartment. A tense love triangle takes place while the government repression looms in the background. 

Review: https://www.cineclick.com.br/criticas/sonhos-e-desejos


Zuzu Angel (2006), d. Sérgio Rezende.

Biopic of fashion designer Zuzu Angel. Her son disappeared after being apprehended by government forces and in her determination to find her son, Zuzu puts her life in danger as well.

Bernstein, Marcos; Rezende, Sérgio. (2006) Zuzu Angel – Roteiro. São Paulo: Imprensa Oficial. https://aplauso.imprensaoficial.com.br/edicoes/12.0.813.226/12.0.813.226.pdf


Hércules 56 (2006], d. Silvio Da-Rin.

Documentary about a small group of militants who kidnapped the US ambassador in 1969. In exchange for his release, the group demanded the liberation of 15 political prisoners to Mexico on an Air Force plane. Da-Rin brings together the survivors of the operation and interviews with the political prisoners.

Da-Rin, Silvio. Hércules 56 – O sequestro do embaixador americano em 1969. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 2007.


Batismo de Sangue/Blood Baptism (2006), d. Helvécio Ratton. 

Based on Frei Betto’s book of the same name. the film stars Caio Blat and Daniel de Oliveira as Frei Tito and Betto respectively.  It follows the Dominican friars’ resistance against Brazilian military dictatorship.

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


Condor (2007), d. Roberto Mader.

Documentary about a small group of militants who kidnapped the US ambassador in 1969. In exchange for his release, the group demanded the liberation of 15 political prisoners to Mexico on an Air Force plane. Da-Rin brings together the survivors of the operation and interviews with the political prisoners.

Memória para Uso diário/Memory for Daily Use (2007), d. Beth Formaggini.

This documentary follows the work of Ivanilda da Silva Veloso, whose husband, a union leader, disappeared in 1975. Her militancy for human rights culminating in the creation of the group Tortura Nunca Mais that denounced former torturers and killed still active in the army and in public administration after the dictatorship.

Caparaó (2007), d. Flavio Frederico.

Documentary about the first attempt to organize a guerrilla movement against the military dictatorship in 1966. In the rugged mountain jungles of the Caparaó mountains, the group was composed mostly of members of the military who had been expelled by the dictatorship in 1964.

Corpo/Body (2007), d. Rossana Foglia & Rubens Rewald.

A forensic doctor in conteporary São Paulo becomes obsessed with the remains of a Jane Doe and delves into the archives of the political police.  

Review in Portuguese: Santos Lima, Paulo (2007) “Corpo de Rossana Foglia e Rubens Rewald” at http://www.revistacinetica.com.br/corpo.htm

Ou Ficar a Pátria Livre ou Morrer Pelo Brasil/Or the Homeland is Free or to Die for Brazil (2007), d. Silvio Tendler.

Documentary about student activism in Brazil from the 1930s to 2007, when the National Student Union [UNE] reoccupied the property where its headquarters were located until they were burned down in 1964.