10 films about the 1964 coup and the civil and military dictatorship in Brazil

Bemmais Brasilia

Originally published on March 31, 2020.

On March 31, 1964, Brazil entered one of the darkest times in its long history: shortly after deposing President Joao Goulart, who threatened to kill him before returning from his trip to China, the military Unconstitutionally seized power and abandoned the coup that would last 21 years (ie until 1985).

In the midst of these two decades, in fact, the period of greatest repression will come, with Costa de Silva, the second military man in the presidency, providing the AI-5 and ordering Congress to shut down. and repression and torture against opponents of the government (in this case, anyone who dared to condemn those in power). The result could not have been different: thousands of people were arrested and murdered, and reports of these murders would emerge years later (and are still being investigated today).

However, during the dictatorship, many artists took a stand against the government and did everything possible to criticize it, be it through music, literature or cinema. From Caetano Veloso to Glaubert Rocha, these prolific names inspired a generation to rebel against censorship and, to this day, they are the basis of feature films, novels and series of the time.

For this reason, Cinepop has expanded to ten films about the civil-military system that began in the 1960s, spanned several decades, and helped dismantle the current denial about this turbulent time.

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Management: Glauber Rocha

In the fictional country of El Dorado, journalist Paulo Martins finds himself at the center of a struggle for power, giving up his life as a writer so that the politician can live with his girlfriend in Elcreme. However, in the face of extreme injustice, he eventually decided to engage in armed struggle.

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For the Brazilian Front (1982)

Director: Roberto Fariaso

In the 1970s, at a time of pioneering years and the economic miracle of civil and military dictatorships, the country was divided into two parts: on the one hand, the public was delighted with the Brazilian football team during the World Cup. World, now headquartered in Mexico; Activists and terrorists, on the other hand, are tortured by agents of official repression – including Gofro Godoy da Fonseca, who is arrested and tortured after being taken to a left-wing guerilla.

What is this man? (1997)

Director: Bruno Barreto

Journalist Fernando and his friend Caesar embarked on an armed struggle against military dictatorships after the implementation of AI-5 in the late 1960s. The two join a left-wing guerrilla group and, in one of the radical group’s actions, Caesar is wounded and captured by the military. Fernando plans to kidnap Charles Burke Elbrik, the US ambassador to Brazil, to negotiate the release of Caesar and the other prisoners.

Director: Camilo Tavares

Secret documents and original recordings from that time show the influence of the US government in the 1964 Brazilian coup. The film itself highlights the involvement of the CIA and the White House. Military action that gave impetus to the dictatorship.

Board of Directors: Bellisario Francas

Between 1972 and 1975, the Brazilian army sent thousands of soldiers to destroy Guerrilla do Araguaia in the Amazon jungle. Forty years later, soldiers participating in the conflict reported the horrors of the torture they were subjected to: the treatment of guerrillas and soldiers is almost imperceptible.

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The Good Borget (1979)


Direction: Oswaldo Caldera

To help the revolutionary struggle, a bank employee, risking his life, decides to embezzle a large sum of money from the bank he works for.

Director: Paolo Cesar Sarcini

A 1964 military coup in Brazil drags a young journalist into an existential void. Faced with love and political disappointments, he finds himself with no prospects for life.

Director: Silvio Tenderler

The film traces the political trajectory of Joo Goulart, the 24th President of Brazil, who was overthrown by a military coup in the early hours of April 1, 1964.

Direction: Lucia Muradi

Murad, who was tortured during a military dictatorship, tells the story of some Brazilian women who took up arms against the military regime. There are a series of testimonies by the guerrillas and scenes from the daily lives of these women who rediscovered different meanings of life, each in their own way.

Direction: Sergio Resende

The true story of a captain during the military dictatorship in Brazil, who abandoned the armed forces and joined left-wing guerrilla groups, to become one of its most outstanding leaders.

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About the author: Will Smith

"Lifelong social media lover. Falls down a lot. Creator. Devoted food aficionado. Explorer. Typical troublemaker."

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