Thursday, August 23, 2012

53. April Capitains (2000) *

Capitaes de Abril

On the 25 April 1974, a Portuguese radio played the 'Grandola' a song banned by the New State Dictatorship in power since 1926.  The song was a signal to revolutionaries, sick of the colonial wars in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau, to begin the 'Carnation Revolution'.  The military coup and the ensuring civilian resistance campaign toppled the dictatorship in Portugal and led to democracy without a single shot being fired.

Maria de Medeiros (Pulp Fiction), who stars and directs the movie, plays the role of a female activist married to the career soldier fighting in Africa.  She fights against the colonial wars through resistance with her students and others.  The movie tells the story of the civilian resistance and military coup in the run up to the 25th April.  In particular, the movie focuses on the story of Captain Salguiero Maia (Steffano Acorsi) one of the heroes of the Revolution.

An interesting film highlighting the history of Portugal with which English and American law students may not be familar.  Some of the scenes call to mind the regimes of Franco and the dictatorships in Latin America, which used censorship and torture to control and repress civilian populations. My favourite bit was when the civilian population start to cry out 'libertad sexual'!

Random Fact:
In addition to the Grandola, the 1974 Eurovision entry 'E Depois do Adeus' was played as a signal to begin the revolution.

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