This captivating thriller -- based on extraordinary true-life events -- was honored with an Academy Award(R) nomination! Political terrorists, in a desperate bid to focus the world's attention on their fight for freedom, k... more »idnap an American Ambassador (Alan Arkin, AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS). Now, the diplomat's life hangs in the balance ... helplessly caught between a government unwilling to cooperate ... and his fear of the captors themselves! Directed by Bruno Barreto (A VIEW FROM THE TOP) and acclaimed by critics as one of the year's best films, FOUR DAYS IN SEPTEMBER is an explosively charged motion picture that delivers egde-of-your-seat excitement!« less
Brad S. (Snibot) from DALLAS, TX Reviewed on 4/1/2010...
Powerful film, and thought provoking.
This is based on actual events that happened during the dictatorship in Brazil. The novelist is also our main character Fernando Gabeira. Alan Arkin puts forth one of his finest performances in this film. The rest of the cast are all stars from Brazil, and fluent in English (though there isn't much of it.) All of the cast are simply outstanding.
The direction is wonderful, they really do a good job of putting you in time, and you actually get a fairly good feel of what a dictatorship is like. We get to hear and see so much about the Nazis and the Holocaust and so little of the other horrors that occurred (and some still occurring) around the world. This movie will show you something you have never seen before (if you don't have any background in the history of South America.)
A tidbit of trivia, Fernando Gabeira was supposed to come to the US for the Oscars, but he was denied his visa ... he is considered a terrorist by the US government.
An intelligent and moving historical drama
Michael J. Mazza | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 06/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brazil, 1969. The country is under the control of an oppressive military regime. A group of idealistic students join an underground revolutionary group in protest. Out of this climate of paranoia and violence, a bold plan is conceived: a plot to kidnap the U.S. ambassador to Brazil. This true story forms the basis for the excellent film "Four Days in September," directed by Bruno Barreto.I have seen many historical films, and this is one of the best. There are no cardboard heroes or villains in this film; there are lots of moral shades of gray. Are these students terrorists or freedom fighters? Is the ambassador an innocent victim, or an ally of oppressive forces? Leopoldo Serran's intelligent script is based on Fernando Gabeira's book "O Que E Isso, Companhiero?" The dialogue offers thought-provoking insights into the minds of the individuals involved in these events. The cast gives universally superb performances; particularly impressive is veteran U.S. actor Alan Arkin as Ambassador Charles Elbrick. The film as a whole is well complemented by a memorable musical soundtrack. Barreto's direction is both suspenseful and sensitive. Whether you are interested in Latin American history or just enjoy a well-made drama, I highly recommend this film."
Watch this movie: 60's in Brazil must not be forgotten
Márcio Padilha | Twin Falls, ID, USA | 08/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think this movie was fantastic, but, first of all, in order to understand it, one must watch it trying to understand the socio-political reality of that time in Brazil. I was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1970 and lived there until 1995 and as a Brazilian Citizen who went through a part of the historical period shown in that movie, I must say I thought it was sad such a thing happened and even sadder the fact "Four Days in September" portrays a true story. However, I must also say that I am very happy that the Dictatorship Period, which started to be extremely harsh in Brazil during the 60's, has not been thrown into an old trunk of things to be forgotten. It is fantastic that we Brazilians are striving to keep those memories alive until all the shadows of that period be completely gone. Also, I must confess I thought it to be even greater that the originality of one young man, "Fernando Gabeira", and the courage and audacy of a few other young "Comrades" were able to bend the Dictatorial Military structure of Brazil so fast. A big kiss on all involved with this project, specially to "Cláudia Abreu" who has been on my mind since she played "Heloísa" in "Anos Rebeldes", a Brazilian TV Series on the Brazilian Military Dictatorship Period as well. May we never forget the 60's so they cannot ever come back! Valeu, gente! Márcio Padilha"
A great movie in spite of some minor inaccuracies
Emilio Dreyer Pacheco | Porto Alegre, Brazil | 05/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie faced a lot of criticism in Brazil for the liberties it took with history. Some criticism dates back to the publication of Fernando Gabeira's book, mainly the fact that Gabeira's importance in the kidnapping is overplayed. Other survivors from the operation claim he did not write the note to the press, as the movie shows. Also, a girl did try to get information from the Ambassador's security man, but she did not spend the night with him (and those who like to spot errors may notice the fact that he calls her by her code name, René, even though she introduced herself by a different name). And one just has to read other books about those days in Brazil to realize most torturers were sick animals, not guilt-ridden human beings like the guy in the movie.In spite of all these flaws, the movie still works admirably as a snapshot of an era. I understand it was rather easy to sell this movie to the international market because Alan Arkin is in it and the event it is based on involved the kidnapping of an American ambassador. But it would be great if people all over the world could also see another movie titled "Pra Frente Brasil". The story is fictitious but inspired by actual facts: while the 1970 World Cup is taking place and the whole Brazilian population is glued to television sets, a guy is captured by mistake and tortured to death by the police. Brazil won that World Cup, so the whole country was in a celebratory mood while the horrors of repression were happening in the underground."
A repressive regime. Idealism. And harsh realities.
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 11/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on a memoir of one of the participants in the kidnap of the American Ambassador in Brazil in 1969, this is a thought provoking film. We all remember the idealism of the times and the student protests around the globe. Most of it was aimed at governments, which needed reform, but were never the ogres that the protesters claimed they were. In Brazil, however, it was different. A military junta had just toppled a democratically elected government. All civil rights had been suspended and terror reigned.A small group of radical students became revolutionaries. Clearly they were over their heads with their dreams of freedom. A bungled bank robbery caused one of the students to be tortured and imprisoned. Something drastic had to be done. Several hard-boiled older radicals came to assist them and the plan for the kidnap was hatched. How it played out is the brought to the screen by Bruno Baretto, as all the participants from the student dreamer played by Pedro Cardoso, to the strong minded woman who saw herself as a revolutionary, played by Fernanda Torres, are shown to be both dangerous and naïve. Alan Arkin is cast as the ambassador and some of the scenes between him and his captors are masterpieces of subtlety and realism. We see many sides of the problem, including the side of the young policeman who has nightmares because his job forces him to torture prisoners.Instead of making judgment, the film lets the audience experience the realities of the situation, which exacerbates the harshness of the government. The emotional tenseness never ceases and the audience is drawn into the drama. As an epilogue it jumps to a later time, when the original radicals, now older and wiser are freed in a prisoner exchange. As the camera pans their faces, we see how they have changed.The film sets us down in a time and place that is gone now. Times have changed and so have the methods of idealists. There is something to learn, however, from this lesson in history. It is well crafted, brilliantly directed and the actors are superb. No wonder it was nominated for an academy award. Highly recommended."
US installed dictatorship vears out of control...
Charlie W. | Northern California | 09/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In March of 1964, democratically elected Joao Goulart was kicked from office by a right wing military movement, mentored and financed in the US. President Johnson had some US Navy ships at the ready to support the Brazilian generals if necessary, all this in the context of fear of comunism taking root in South America's largest country - the old story of the dominoes theory run wild. The Brazilian junta proved so brutal that students and intelectuals started resisting and doing the unheard of, at the time: Kidnapping ambassadors and consuls of powerful nations (US, Japan, Switzerland, Germany) and exchanging them for political prisoners that were being tortured and killed by the military. Brazil would not dare show its torture chambers or even admit to the practice much less accept international inspections to its jails - as a result the junta would simply give in and release lots of priosioners that would otherwise likely perish. Some of the release are now in government: President Luiz Inacio Lula, former Chief of Staff Jose Dirceu, former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and many others. After 21 disgraceful years in power, the last general, Joao Batista Figueredo allowed indirect elections - 1985 was the year.The film does an excellent job showing the incredible conditions of those days. Alan Arkin is great!"