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The Day That Lasted 21 Years (2012)

O Dia que Durou 21 Anos (original title)
Provides evidence of manipulation and investment funding from the U.S. government to carry out the Brazilian military coup that occurred in 1964.

Director:

Camilo Tavares

Writer:

Camilo Tavares
Reviews
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Auro de Moura Andrade Auro de Moura Andrade ... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Robert Bentley Robert Bentley ... Himself
Júlio de Sá Bierrenbach Júlio de Sá Bierrenbach ... Himself
Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco ... Himself (archive footage)
Newton Cruz Newton Cruz ... Himself
Bocayuva Cunha Bocayuva Cunha ... Himself (archive footage)
Arthur da Costa e Silva Arthur da Costa e Silva ... Himself (archive footage)
Carlos Fico Carlos Fico ... Himself
Lincoln Gordon Lincoln Gordon ... Himself (archive footage)
João Goulart João Goulart ... Himself (archive footage)
James Naylor Green James Naylor Green ... Himself
Lyndon Baines Johnson ... Himself (archive footage) (as Lyndon Johnson)
John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)
Peter Kornbluh Peter Kornbluh ... Himself
Stanley Howard Lehman Stanley Howard Lehman ... (voice)
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Storyline

Provides evidence of manipulation and investment funding from the U.S. government to carry out the Brazilian military coup that occurred in 1964.

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Plot Keywords:

brazil | See All (1) »


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Details

Country:

Brazil

Language:

Portuguese | English

Release Date:

29 March 2013 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

El Día que Duró 21 años See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$110,358
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
The inception of Brazil's military coup
3 April 2017 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

Here's an enlightened and good documentary that discloses the events surrounding one of the most fateful days in Brazilian history, a date that haunted us for more than 20 years with the period of military dictatorship (1964-1985), the longest regime of a South American nation. But "The Day that Lasted 21 Years" isn't just about the dark March 31, 1964; it presents to us the inception of a political and military coup supported by the United States and its fear of seeing an important economical/strategical partner turn into another communist Cuba.

In fact, this isn't news to me. I know those facts ever since I was kid but I also know that the masses of our people or even most politicized individuals don't know anything about it; and in our current days of a majority claiming to support right wing parties and ideologies, it feels like this document it's important and mandatory to be seen. Yes, it's clearly established here that Lincoln Gordon, U.S. ambassador in Brazil, was the main figure behind the coup by feeding Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson about the politics behind president João Goulart's basic reforms that gave more power and rights to the common people and demanded more from the nation's rich and big foreign business folks who were unfair with their deals, usually avoiding to pay what's owed to the country. However, the film overlooks that Gordon was a part but not the first to raise questions and fears about the government; the bourgeoisie of the period were the first to feel threatened by all those new social rules that never favored them and since they had the capital, resources and means for it (along with unsatisfied military), the next step was obvious. Gordon makes his plans, Kennedy met Goulart and didn't like the daring man who refused to comply with some of the American president ordeals but then came November 22, 1963 and the rest is history...but Lyndon and his staff kept looking at Brazil and made the coup d'etat happen in 1964.

And to what cost the American policy and the rich people from Brazil turned the nation into it? The regime deposed a president (who ran away to Uruguay); abruptly cut short politicians careers, closing many opposition parties and even closing the Congress; only marshals and generals were elected leaders and each one went by created new institutional acts that prevented freedom of speech, the right to strike, persecuted communists and alleged ones with prison, torture, murders and disappearance; censorship of all communication forms; and more. On its positive light, the economic factor was good with its masked inflation (by the time it ended we realized how awful our monetary system were), never a sense of crisis like the 1980's and early 1990's proved to be; the educational system went through a great renewal (but students and teachers didn't have the liberty to say what they wanted to say, it was very strict) and that's it. I'm giving this background because the film failed in providing this. The main focus was to tell about the events surrounding the day one of the coup and then they moved forward in telling about its first years. Nice but since the makers already had the 21 years in the title, I find that at least they should present all the important events of those 20 years to make a more impacting historical piece, one that could highlight all of what happened during those rough and darker years that still resonates in our political stream system.

All the archive footage was exemplary and great to watch; the interview with personalities from both sides of the issue was excellent and it even includes American historians who had access to memos and documents exchanges between the ambassador and the White House; and the documentary knows how to maintain a good dialogue between those opposite forces (but obviously that testimonies from the regime's supporters sound preposterous "we were right then and still are with no regrets" as evidenced by the ludicrous former general Newton Cruz and its crazed facial expressions). The greatest insight presented and one that I never asked myself was concerning about why Goulart didn't react to such unexpected attack - after all, he was still in command and could use the rest of military that was left. But his decision (at least that one since his politics though commendable were quite naive, and I don't think he was a communist, he was just too liberal for his time) turned out to be the best, because on that day with tanks and soldiers going from several states a bloodshed could have happened - lets not forget about American aircraft carriers on the Brazilian shore just waiting and hoping for some resistance. As history classified later on, a very easy coup - some cowardice as well, no shame as it happened before in 1891 with our very first president when republic was recently created - but with less menace and power of fire.

It's not a complete documentary but it portrays with great accuracy and effect the reality of the early days of one of the nation's worst tragedies. Camilo Tavares documentary is a memorable and highly powerful work. 9/10


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