Twenty Years Later | Chicago Reader

Twenty Years Later

The saga told in this 1984 Brazilian film is more powerful and interesting than the film as a whole. Eduardo Coutinho began shooting a documentary about the 1962 murder of a peasant organizer, but following the 1964 military coup production was halted, the crew's equipment was seized, and many of the participants were arrested and tortured. In 1981 Coutinho returned to his original locales and reinterviewed his original “cast” (the organizer's wife had been hiding in a small village, and most of her children grew up without knowing where she was), but the completed film, which intercuts black-and-white footage from the original with new color sequences, rambles hopelessly. This could have been a searing essay on oppression and the impossibility of recovering lost years, but it meanders around the margins.

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