The rise and fall of a revolutionary cooperative movement established in a large private farm in Ribatejo, Portugal, from March to December 1975 (most part of the land occupations occurred ...
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The rise and fall of a revolutionary cooperative movement established in a large private farm in Ribatejo, Portugal, from March to December 1975 (most part of the land occupations occurred in Alentejo, promoted by the communist party). In direct speech, sometimes to the camera, sometimes among themselves, the uneducated rural workers expose their misery, their suffering, their hopes, and ultimately their despair - when a socialist government orders the restitution of the land to their primitive owners, and these transform the land into a hunting reserve.Written by
The original version prepared for the 1976 Cannes Film Festival and eventually not shown was 240 minutes. After extensive editing by Roberto Perpignani it was reduced to 139 minutes and shown out of competition at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival. The director further edited the film to the 117 minutes that had limited distribution at trade union and political meetings in Portugal, Montréal (Canada), Pesaro (Italy) and NYC (USA). The so called Portuguese version for theatrical distribution was re-cut to 105 minutes. As of 2012, there are two DVD versions, the 2004 print under 82 minutes, and the 2007 print at 105 minutes. See more »
One of the best political documentaries ever made. The process by which a revolutionary movement develops on a local scale, its relation to a radicalizing military, and its difficulties and peculiar development in specific cultural conditions have never been more honestly portrayed. Wathcing the soldiers tell the local peasants to do something force the soldiers to act on their behalf -- "Act now. The law will come later." --is astounding. I saw the movie when it originally came out, in a showing in Berkeley, CA with the director. I showed in once in a political film festival I organized. It is very hard to find. See it if at all possible. I've never seen a better account of a revolution in process.
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