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Camarate (2001)

Luisa, a Portuguese Supreme Court Judge, is given the Camarate File, the investigation of the accident that led to the death of Portuguese Prime-Minister and his accompanists on December ... See full summary »


Luís Filipe Rocha


Luís Filipe Rocha (story), Luís Filipe Costa (dialogue)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria João Luís Maria João Luís ... Luisa
Virgílio Castelo Virgílio Castelo ... Diogo
Filipe Ferrer Filipe Ferrer ... Carlos
Cândido Ferreira Cândido Ferreira ... Manuel Mesquita
José Wallenstein José Wallenstein ... Paulo
Ana Nave Ana Nave ... Marta
Adriano Luz ... André
José Meireles José Meireles ... Joaquim
João Lobo João Lobo ... David
Alexandra Leite Alexandra Leite ... Diana
Carlos Quintas Carlos Quintas ... António
António Pedro Cerdeira António Pedro Cerdeira ... Pilot (as António Cerdeira)
Luís Lucas Luís Lucas ... Sá Carneiro
João Reis ... Gaspar Frade
Luís Mascarenhas Luís Mascarenhas ... Inácio Costa


Luisa, a Portuguese Supreme Court Judge, is given the Camarate File, the investigation of the accident that led to the death of Portuguese Prime-Minister and his accompanists on December the 4th, 1980. She must decide whether the case goes to trial or is to be archived... Written by rui cunha - rcmgc1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History







Release Date:

20 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The director tested nine actresses for many hours, until he made his choice of Maria João Luís for the role of judge. See more »


Written by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Interpreted by Luís Cília
See more »

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User Reviews

Intriguing conspiracy theory, but feeble drama
7 November 2001 | by nbrennerSee all my reviews

In 1980, a small plane carrying the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister and six others crashed during takeoff in Camarate, Portugal, killing all on board. The police investigation decided it was an accident caused by pilot error. But controversy raged for twenty years, and the Parliament investigated it no less than six times. Finally, in 2000, in response to a suit by the families of the survivors, the High Court had to decide whether to open a criminal investigation, or close the case forever.

So much is fact. This movie is a fictional account of how one judge might have made a decision on the case. Effective use is made of extracts from the official records, pointing out the contradictions, implausibilities and inadequacies of the police inquiry. The film "The Thin Blue Line" visually reenacted such points. "All the President's Men" and "JFK" implied similar points inside a framework of true-life events. Instead, here they are merely recited by one character to another within a dreary (and, the introduction states, invented) soap-opera storyline.

The judge allocated to the case is a woman, and the audience is supposed to be entertained by her personal dilemmas--jealous tension between her ex-husband and her current lover, and whether she should get an abortion or not. Other characters are one dimensional at best--the law professor who balances the conflicting investigations, the fellow judge who is both a conspiracy theorist and a would-be "Deep Throat". A clandestine meeting at a spectacular aquarium only serves as a metaphor for a fish-eat-fish sort of world. Lastly, in the print I viewed, the subtitles were too often projected against white backgrounds, making them invisible.

I discussed the movie's various hypotheses with someone familiar with air crash investigations. He reserved judgement on the pilot's actions, since that is mere speculation, and dismissed the various witnesses's claims of a bright light before the crash, since witnesses often confuse the sequence of events. But he did say that the trail of burned wreckage the plane left behind, if it truly existed, might provide indications whether a mid-air explosion occurred.

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