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

R  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  30 January 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,546 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 24 critic

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Burke Elbrick
Pedro Cardoso ...
Fernando Gabeira / Paulo
Luiz Fernando Guimarães ...
Cláudia Abreu ...
Nelson Dantas ...
Matheus Nachtergaele ...
Marco Ricca ...
Maurício Gonçalves ...
Caio Junqueira ...
Eduardo Moscovis ...
Elvira Elbrick
Dona Margarida


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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 »


Official Sites:





Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Four Days in September  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$310,724 (USA) (20 February 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Alan Arkin and Fisher Stevens; and one Oscar nominee: Fernanda Montenegro. See more »


(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 »


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


Referenced in Casseta & Planeta: A Taça do Mundo É Nossa (2003) See more »


Madalena foi pro mar
Written by Chico Buarque de Hollanda
See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating regardless of your political persuasion.
2 April 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Four Days in September" is a film that most here in the United States know nothing about--even though the film is a recreation of the real life kidnapping of the US ambassador to Brazil back in, 1971. Frankly, here in the States, we know very little about the country and many people I know think they speak Spanish there! It's sad and those who DO know a bit about the country get it from films like "City of God"! Because I am a history teacher, I was thrilled to learn more about the political turmoil in Brazil in the 1970s and their military dictatorship--as, I hate to admit it, my knowledge of the country is lacking. And, for me, the most surprising thing about the film was to learn that this government was in place all the way until 1989! Wow.

As for the film, it's a recreation of the evens leading to and following the abduction of the American ambassador--with a strong emphasis on the motivations and reactions of the younger members of this Communist group, MR8. Aside from a case of very capable Brazilian actors, American actor Alan Arkin is on hand as the ambassador. Overall, the film is excellent for many reasons. The script and direction are very good (without a lot of politics and without a strong bias) and the acting very good. In fact, I have no real complaints about the film, though I wonder about the further adventures of MR8--the film really had me wonder about the decades following this kidnapping.

By the way, though the film is about communist revolutionaries, the film is handled in a relatively dispassionate way and can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their political orientation. It did seem to paint these leftists somewhat favorably, but not in a manner that seemed overly sentimental or biased. Plus, it did show the characters on the right as well--a smart move in the long run. Well worth seeing.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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