4.9/10
172
3 user 4 critic

Sweet Country (1987)

Anna and Ben are settled in rural Chile in the early 1970's. They are very isolated and their only real friends are two Chilean sisters, Eva and Monica. When Ben is stranded in Santiago on ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Cacoyannis (as Mihalis Kakogiannis)

Writers:

Michael Cacoyannis (as Mihalis Kakogiannis), Caroline Richards (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Alexander ... Anna
John Cullum ... Ben
Carole Laure ... Eva
Franco Nero ... Paul
Joanna Pettet ... Monica
Randy Quaid ... Juan
Irene Papas ... Mrs. Araya
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Mr. Araya
Pierre Vaneck Pierre Vaneck ... Father Venegas
Katia Dandoulaki ... Sister Mathilde
Ann Coleman Ann Coleman ... Dorothy
Giannis Voglis ... Max
Betty Valassi ... Sara
Dimitris Poulikakos ... Torturer
Saun Ellis ... Evelyn
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Storyline

Anna and Ben are settled in rural Chile in the early 1970's. They are very isolated and their only real friends are two Chilean sisters, Eva and Monica. When Ben is stranded in Santiago on the eve of the military takeover of 1973, Anna is livid...and this is made worse by the fact that Eva, the ex-personal assistant to Allende's wife, has been arrested by the soldiers of the new Pinochet regime and taken into custody where she is emotionally and sexually defiled. She is released, only to be further harassed by one of her arresting officers, Raoul, who poses as her protector but wishes to rape her. Meanwhile, Anna becomes involved with a Canadian journalist named Paul, who is compiling information for an extensive journalistic treatment of the coup. Anna and Ben organize an escape for Eva, over the walls of a convent to the safety of an embassy. Written by thustlebird

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The best of us fight not because we hate...but because we love.

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to achieve the feeling of horror in a scene where a gathering of female prisoners are harassed and psychologically tortured in the nude, director Michael Cacoyannis decided to appeal for volunteers rather than professional actors, asking both his associates and friends. Cacoyannis interviewed women of different nationalities, including English, French, Americans and Greeks. Most of these women had never even seen a film camera, let alone undressed before one. Money was never an incentive for them. Cacoyannis said, "I explained that their inexperience in acting was an advantage, that their lack of artifice, the spirituality of their spontaneous reactions, would transcend physical realism, the way certain paintings can." At first he was not too successful "recruiting" volunteers, but soon found the women he needed. One was a well-known author, another a journalist, three were college professors, others university students, secretaries or just housewives. The shooting of this sequence was completed in five very stressful hours, and the reactions were neither planned nor rehearsed. At the end of the shooting day, their eyes still full of tears, some of them expressed their gratitude for what they called "a unique experience". See more »

Quotes

Anna: All you ever gave me was a tepid lemonade!
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Alternate Versions

The American VHS video release from The Cinema Group runs 120 minutes, meaning that 30 minutes was cut from the film's original length of 150 minutes. See more »

Connections

References Attila 74: The Rape of Cyprus (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Dulce Patria
(Sweet Fatherland)
The Chilean National Anthem
Composed by Ramón Carnicer
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User Reviews

 
What Happens When A Fascist Dictatorship Takes Power!
8 January 2008 | by liberalgemsSee all my reviews

It's a great shame that this historically significant film is so obscure - it currently has only two reviews, which, unfortunately, miss the point of the the story! This is a devastating and historically accurate tale about what happens when fascism violently comes to power by overthrowing a democratically elected government. And this film gets personal! Anyone who has ever been a political activist will have shivers going up their spine while watching this poignant masterpiece! What's more disturbing is that events happen so fast, it's very hard to process the experience! Disbelief and denial of the magnitude of what is happening interferes with one's ability to make the appropriate decisions. Keep in mind making the wrong decision may cost you your life, or that of a family member. What makes it even more alarming is the realization that given the right set of circumstances, no democracy, including the United States, is immune to a violent fascist overthrow!

While I did not experience the violent overthrow of Salvador Allende's government, I knew someone who was an eye-witness to General Pinochet's crimes while living in Santiago, Chile's capital. This person, who happened to be a Nun, was lucky. She was an American citizen, and a member of a religious order, and was allowed to evacuate to the United States. But before she left, she witnessed the death and destruction first hand! To her, and hundreds of thousands people like her, this was not an abstract experience of watching a movie in the safety of one's home!


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Details

Country:

Greece | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1987 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweet Country See more »

Filming Locations:

Greece See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$6,614

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,614
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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