Four Days in September | Chicago Reader

Four Days in September

Three friends in Brazil part ways when one of two recruited by a revolutionary group becomes instrumental in a kidnapping engineered to force the release of imprisoned members. With paradoxically mechanistic emotion, the movie exposes the complex motives of several characters whose cruel behavior will appear self-sacrificing and altruistic only if ends justify means. The emphasis is on the actions of one recruit (Pedro Cardoso), his passion for a comrade, and his compassion for the kidnapped American ambassador (Alan Arkin), though the story also focuses on an investigator (Marco Ricca) who works for the secret service extracting information from captured revolutionaries through torture. Without mocking or glamorizing these and other participants in a conflict whose stakes are life and death, the movie takes a striking, uncynical perspective on the involvement of individuals in ethically ambiguous activities. Directed by Bruno Barreto; written by Leopoldo Serran, based on Fernando Gabeira's autobiographical book about the 1969 event.

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