Reviews and notes
In association with the Reel Brazil Film Festival
2012 Festival do Rio
St Tropez International Film Festival, Best Foreign Documentary
22nd Arizona International Film Festival (USA), Special Jury Award
29th Long Island Film Festival (USA), Special Jury Award
U.S. meddling in South American politics is starkly uncovered in The Day That Lasted 21 Years
, a painstakingly researched expose of the 1964 Brazilian military coup. Sifting through a wealth of interviews, declassified documents and period audiotapes, helmer Camilo Tavares delivers a damning, unassailable assessment of JFK and LBJ’s bullying policy of communist containment, and the damage it did to Brazil’s democratic institutions.
- Jay Weissberg, Variety, 23 October 2012.
A fascinating delve into American governmental and CIA plans to disrupt the democratic leaders of Brazil, which eventually would lead lead to the 1964 coup d’état, The Day That Lasted 21 Years
(O Dia Que Durou 21 Anos) offers a gripping insight into political machinations.
While modest in shape and structure, Camilo Taveres’ absorbing film has the elements of a spy novel as it details how American government paranoia about socialist politics in the South American region – sparked by Cuba and propelled by Brazilian elected president João Goulart’s links with China and left-wing stance – led to active plans to destructure Brazil.
Originated by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson the plans to overthrow the Brazilian government and support a military leader are fleshed out in original White House tapes and CIA Top Secret documents.
With archival footage and interviews with historians, politicians and academics the film details in chronological order of events. US involvement as based on advice from the American ambassador to Brazil at the time Lincoln Gordon as well as the military attaché Col. Vernon A Walters.
In fact Johnson authorised a US Navy fleet led by an aircraft carrier to support the coup against Goulart under the guise of a military exercise – which in the end was not needed – while at the same time the CIA covertly supported anti-communist groups, church and business contacts. The Brazilian military dictatorship controlled, tortured and imprisoned thousands of citizens from 1964 to 1985, one of the longest dictatorships in Latin America.
The film, which had its world premiere at the Rio Film Festival, should be attractive to broadcasters – especially those with political and historical strands – and should also appeal to other film festivals.
- Mark Adams, Screen Daily, 4 October 2012.
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