CAPITÃES DE ABRIL (Maria de Medeiros, 2000)

April Captains is a loud, lurid melodrama, further corrupted by ridiculous soap opera, about the Leftist, popularly supported, largely nonviolent military coup, begun in Lisbon on April 25, 1974, that ended the Estado Novo, Portugal’s long dictatorship. The Portuguese film focuses on two soldiers participating in the coup. One of the film’s stars, Maria de Medeiros, made her debut as a film director here; working from a script that she co-wrote with Ève Deboise, de Medeiros proceeded superficially and emphatically, failing to include even the faintest trace of realism in her highly fictionalized historical travesty. A nearly total embarrassment, this film exists in the U.S., on DVD, in a version about a half-hour shorter than what won de Medeiros the International Jury Prize at São Paulo.


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