17 Hours | Chicago Reader

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97 minutes

Drama, Historical Drama
Neither an immersive period re-creation like Olivier Assayas's Carlos (2010) nor a deliberately tasteless exaggeration like Im Sang-soo's The President's Last Bang (2005), this Spanish docudrama presents a real-life political crisis as a middle-of-the-road suspense movie. The subject is the failed 1981 military coup Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero led against King Carlos I, and the perspective shifts regularly to consider how the event was experienced by journalists, Carlos, and Tejero himself. This was shot on HD video with little apparent consideration of the format's limitations: the exteriors look unnaturally blue-green, the interiors unnaturally yellow, and few images offer much depth of field. Unfortunately the visual flatness befits the storytelling all too well. Chema de la Peña directed. In Spanish with subtitles.

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