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Twenty Years Later (1985)
"Cabra Marcado Para Morrer" (original title)

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Eduardo Coutinho was filming a movie with the same name in the Northeast of Brazil, in 1964, when there came the military coup. He had to interrupt the project, and came back to it in 1981,... See full summary »


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Title: Twenty Years Later (1985)

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Credited cast:
Eduardo Coutinho ...
Tite de Lemos ...
Portuguese Narrator
Ferreira Gullar ...
Portuguese Narration


Eduardo Coutinho was filming a movie with the same name in the Northeast of Brazil, in 1964, when there came the military coup. He had to interrupt the project, and came back to it in 1981, looking for the same places and people, showing what had ocurred since then, and trying to gather a family whose patriarch, a political leader fighting for rights of country people, had been murdered. Written by

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February 1985 (West Germany)  »

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Twenty Years Later  »

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A proof of why good ideas are hard to kill and a good documentary
14 May 2011 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In 1962, director Eduardo Coutinho decided to make a film about peasant leader João Pedro killed on an ambush after some rivalry between his union movement and his bosses in Brazil's Northeast. The film had to be interrupted after the Military Dictatorship in 1964, part of the material was confiscated considered of its subversive content by the government, many people involved were arrested and other things happened too. In 1982, twenty years later, the director decided to continue with the movie but this time instead of a feature film he decided to do a documentary telling the story about the figures involved with that film. "Cabra Marcado Para Morrer" (known around the world as "Twenty Years Later") shows how things changed after the repressive government take over the country and the force of a film and an idea that couldn't die.

Coutinho interviews the actors of the original film, workers and people who knew the peasant leader and João Pedro's widow Elizabeth Teixeira and their family, tracking down all of their sons that followed different directions after Elizabeth's prison after she takes over her husband's function at the syndicate. The remaining images of the film filmed in 1962 are often shown with images of the 1980's documentary showing how these people were affected by countless things after the brutal years of political repression. They're old, tired, ordinary people that passed through a lot of things but still fighting against social and political problems, making a good country. They tried but now many years later from this film we're still seeing that many things that union fought to change haven't changed around the country. This is still a country where dissemblance reigns.

Now comes my vision of watching this film. It is a relevant work if you want to know more about the hard years of Military Dictatorship in Brazil; a small story you won't find in history books; and the contrast between time and experiences are fabulous to see. The stories told by João Pedro's widow are very impressive and along with the narration of Ferreira Gullar is the most comprehensible and interesting part of the film.

In terms of opinions of what people say about this is film I found it an overrated documentary, sometimes it loses its point very easily, a film was made, interrupted, other was made to state a poignant thing about how politics can ruin a film but they keep interviewing people with some random question that goes almost nowhere; it is very tiresome, and the version I watched was extremely incomprehensible, the sound was awful during the testimonies of some of João Pedro's sons, the dialect used and the way they talked was too fast and inaudible to understand. It wasn't such a nice experience but it was a memorable one.

10 star rating for it? I don't think so! I'm still about to see a really great documentary about this dark era. It deserves praise and recognition for showing how powerful the cinema media can be, can survive through decades and years and have great things to say about one people and a nation. In the end, the film lasted while the regime haven't, it was dying when this film was started again. 7/10

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