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Four Days in September

Director:Bruno Barreto
Writer:Leopoldo Serran
Director of Photography:Félix Monti
Editor:Isabelle Rathery
Music:Stewart Copeland
Production Designer:Angelo Gastal
Producer:Lucy Barreto
Miramax; R; 105 minutes
Release:1/98
Cast:Alan Arkin, Pedro Cardoso, Fernanda Torres and Marco Ricca
Based on the book O que e isso, companheiro? by Fernando Gabeira

Based on the true story of the 1969 kidnapping by Brazilian students of the American ambassador to Brazil, Charles Elbrick (Arkin), Four Days in September is undoubtedly a well-made political drama, but it lacks a sense of immediacy and emerges as somewhat sluggish and ineffective. Disgusted with Brazil's fascist military regime, a group of students form a Marxist group, MR-8, and begin by robbing banks but end up kidnapping the American ambassador. They demand the release of political prisoners in exchange for Elbrick's life. The students' naiveté is revealed when they have to come to terms with the fact that they may have to follow through with their threats to execute Elbrick. Barreto effectively humanizes the film by exploring the bond formed between Elbrick and one of his captors (Cardoso).


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