In all of these years while watching movies I've always watched them from beginning to end, sometimes missing at the most two or three scenes, but always managing to visualize the whole thing, without walking out of it, no matter how bad they were. Since I know some film critics do walk out after seeing even just ten minutes of projection I decided to do the same with this film after torturing myself for over an hour. It's so terrible that it's a severe case of a film that don't have salvation, no, I won't try to see it again. Ever!
"Aleluia, Gretchen" ("Hallelujah, Gretchen") promises a lot with a plot about the rise of a Nazist group in the south of Brazil, initiated by Germans who transfered themselves in the 1930's and decided to put Hitler's ideals in the South America. Director Sylvio Back isn't failing with the truth in choosing the South as the scenery for such plot since there were initiatives like those and still are predominant there; the problem with the script is of a higher order, or better the lack of order. Nothing makes sense, the characters aren't involving, they don't talk one single quote that makes sense, everything is so useless. Plenty of conversations that go nowhere ruin the movie just as much as presenting the Hitler Youth training and praising the man but you never watch them making anything, no attacks, no persecutions, preaching the desire of battling on a war but never doing anything similar. OK, one can argue that I didn't wait to see the whole thing but that's no excuse, the movie didn't go nowhere, confused me, bored me and it was completely worthless. Mr. Back can open his film showing all the minor awards the film got but that didn't impressed me, I bet all those critics and juror were laughing at him for making one of the worst films ever made.
I shouldn't put my expectations high for a Brazilian picture made in the 1970's (with no doubt, the worst decade for those movies, I haven't found one 10 star from that period) but there's so much more this could have been. The only admirable thing about it is its small challenge to the dictatorship current at the time, and it makes me wonder how a plot about a subversive group in Brazil was approved by the censors (the regime wouldn't allow something like that), who also didn't cut the first sequence involving the Youth's training with all the boys playing soccer, running and swimming, and in all of those scenes they were completely naked. I've never quite understood the censors criteria for cutting nude scenes from some films and allowing others like this go on without any problem.
With some social denounce and a few good ideas to present and this would be a decent film. Insetad all we have is a poor mess that doesn't deserve to be seen in its totality. 1/10
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