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Four Days in September (1997)
"O Que É Isso, Companheiro?" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,220 users  
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Fernando, a journalist, and his friend César join terrorist group MR8 in order to fight Brazilian dictatorial regime during the late sixties. Cesare, however, is wounded and captured during... See full summary »

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Title: Four Days in September (1997)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Charles Burke Elbrick
...
Maria
Pedro Cardoso ...
Fernando Gabeira / Paulo
Luiz Fernando Guimarães ...
Marcão
Cláudia Abreu ...
Reneé
Nelson Dantas ...
Toledo
Matheus Nachtergaele ...
Jonas
Marco Ricca ...
Henrique
Maurício Gonçalves ...
Brandão
...
Julio
...
Oswaldo
Eduardo Moscovis ...
Artur
...
Elvira Elbrick
...
Mowinkel
...
Dona Margarida
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Storyline

Fernando, a journalist, and his friend César join terrorist group MR8 in order to fight Brazilian dictatorial regime during the late sixties. Cesare, however, is wounded and captured during a bank hold up. Fernando then decides to kidnap the American ambassador in Brazil and ask for the release of fifteen political prisoners in exchange for his life. Written by Salvatore Santangelo <pappagone2@libero.it>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Their goal: freedom. Their only hope: an international incident. Their target: the American ambassador.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Four Days in September  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$32,017 (USA) (30 January 1998)

Gross:

$310,724 (USA) (20 February 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title in Portuguese ("O que é isso, companheiro?") means "What is this, comrade?" "Companheiro" is a treatment used between members of the left wing. Brazil's president Lula uses to call "companheiro" to a minister or even to a friend. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 16 mins) Shortly before 8:30 PM on the final day, late in the countdown to 10:00 PM, Maria's watch clearly shows the hands at approximately 9:32. See more »

Quotes

[about Maria, the leader of MR-8]
Fernando Gabeira: She either wants to fuck me or fuck me over.
See more »

Connections

References Black God, White Devil (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Madalena foi pro mar
Written by Chico Buarque de Hollanda
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User Reviews

 
Not Learning Portuguese
15 August 2004 | by (East Florida) – See all my reviews

I didn't learn any Portuguese, but from this movie I learned a bit about Brazil, though "Four Days" is mostly in Portuguese. (I have a hard enough time with Spanish, thanks.) This film offers insight into a part of South American politics that I frankly have little knowledge of and I didn't follow at the time (I mean, the parts in the movie's epilogue during which I was alive and aware), and for that alone it is worth watching. Even if you don't care, the movie will bring it to light so you can imagine the Brazil of the 1960s and you just might care that you learned something about it.

"Four Days" manages to carry the viewer through to the 1989 end of the military regime in its epilogue. The Soviet Bloc was falling apart at about the same time, the Berlin Wall, if I recall, came down that year, so I suppose many would have missed this interesting ploy for attention by revolutionaries for that reason (which I certainly admit to, having following the Soviet departure steadily and having no idea about this Brazilian event).

The movie is a telling of when eager Brazilian Communist-leftist revolutionaries, both innocent and veteran, take the U.S. Ambassador hostage to draw the attention of the world toward Brazil, and to challenge the Brazilian powers they hope to overthrow ultimately, with demands for releasing their compatriots. I thought it was a convincing movie, though coming up short on making the characters particularly compelling. But then, the event was the focus, not the characters. Alan Arkin was terrific. So was the actor who played the central character, the young, not too tough, glasses-wearing Fernando.

The show didn't hide behind the revolutionaries, either. We saw things from the other side, too. It was believable, and I really enjoyed the handling of both sides of the coin in this real-life drama. There was a smoothly presented bit with a regime torturer and his girlfriend (wife?), where he suddenly admits to her what he does for the government. He'd claimed he was doing something much milder for some time, and finally outs himself as a member of the secret service. He rationalizes his torturing college kids to prevent a breakdown of Brazilian society, almost convincingly, but his lady doesn't buy it, and neither should the audience. The scene was meant to put a human face on the bad guy, and did it reasonably, but we also get that his

rationalizing leaves even him a bit flat, as he tries to embrace his woman when she turns away from him in distaste.

Most of the film is spoken in Portuguese, and I didn't mind reading this movie a bit. (It's when a movie that wouldn't be enjoyable in any language that I mind reading my way through it.) This is a movie worth seeing for its attention to a daring moment in Brazil's move toward democracy. And even if you don't care about that, it is a terrific suspense film.


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