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The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story (1994)

The Burning Season (original title)
Based on the true story of a Brazilian rubber tapper who leads his people in protest against government and developers, who want to cut down their part of the rainforest for a new road and ... See full summary »

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

Andrew Revkin (novel), William Mastrosimone (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Raul Julia ... Chico Mendes
Carmen Argenziano ... Alfredo Sezero
Sônia Braga ... Regina de Carvalho (as Sonia Braga)
Kamala Lopez ... Ilzamar (as Kamela Dawson)
Luis Guzmán ... Estate Boss
Nigel Havers ... Steven Kaye
Tomas Milian ... Darli Alves
Esai Morales ... Jair
Edward James Olmos ... Wilson Pinheiro
Tony Plana ... Galvao
Marco Rodríguez ... Tavora
Carlos Carrasco ... Helio
Jonathan Carrasco Jonathan Carrasco ... Genesio
Jeffrey Licon ... Young Chico Mendes
José Pérez José Pérez ... Moacir
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Storyline

Based on the true story of a Brazilian rubber tapper who leads his people in protest against government and developers, who want to cut down their part of the rainforest for a new road and ranch land. The rich and the powerful will stop at nothing, and frequently resort to murder. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico

Company Credits

Production Co:

HBO Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three theatrical feature films that actor Raul Julia and actress Sônia Braga both worked on. The pictures are The Rookie (1990), Moon Over Parador (1988), and Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985). The two both also featured in the tele-movie The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story (1994). See more »

Goofs

During the scene of Wilson Pinheiro's execution, the characters are watching a well-known moment from the TV series Vale Tudo. This wouldn't be possible since this series would only be released in 1988 while Pinheiro was killed in 1980. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Darli Alves: We start cutting tomorrow.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Raul Julia in a career performance.
21 November 1999 | by James B.See all my reviews

"The Burning Season" is a very moving film. It tells the story of real-life Amazon rainforest activist Chico Mendes, who was murdered in the mid-eighties because of his work.

The film shows the life of rubber tappers in Brazil, a trade handed down through generations. Its existence is threatened by rogue cattle barons and other industrial pirates, who want to burn the rainforest to make way for their plans. Mendes and his followers counter the developers with their numbers and their bodies. They adopt a program of civil disobedience, much as Gandhi's followers did in "Gandhi."

Raul Julia gives an impassioned performance as Mendes, with several moments that are breathtaking in their intensity. I heard that he lost thirty or more pounds for this role, and it shows. It is a tragedy that Julia did not live long after filming "The Burning Season" - with this as evidence, there was so much more to him than "Addams Family" re-makes. One can see from the look in Julia's eyes that he is totally locked in during the film.


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