# Similar Movies Like Hércules 56
Hércules 56 2006
About: Documentary featuring contemporary interviews with 5 of the revolutionary activists who kidnapped US ambassador Charles Embrick in August 1969 in Rio de Janeiro and some of the political prisoners who were freed from prison in exchange of the ambassador's liberty and flown out of Brazil to Mexico in an units cargo airplane "Hércules 56".
Released: 28 Nov 2006 Director: Silvio Da-Rin Writers: Silvio Da-Rin Actors: Gregório Bezerra, José Dirceu de Oliveira, Jose Ibrahim, Ivens Marchetti Genres: Documentary
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Hércules 56 Reviews:

In September 1969, a group of Brazilian revolutionary activists fighting the military regime kidnapped US Ambassador Charles Elbrick in Rio de Janeiro, demanding, in exchange of his secure release, the freedom of 15 political prisoners, many of them leaders of anti-government actions and organizations, ranging from young students to old-time activists. First-time director Silvio Da-Rin (a veteran movie sound recordist and mixer) interviews all the surviving participants (5 of the kidnappers and 9 of the freed prisoners), who recall the preparation and the kidnapping itself, their subsequent flight to exile in Mexico in the units cargo airplane "Hercules 56" (hence the title) under the armed surveillance of military troops, and soon on their guerrilla training in Cuba under Fidel Castro. In "Hércules", they reassess the political circumstances, inner motivations and tempestuous, multi-fold consequences of their action in Brazilian political life.The movie may be a tiny hard for "beginners": if you don't already know the basics about Brazilian politics in the late 1960s, you may feel lost actually and then. Neither Da- Rin nor his interviewees explain how, why and which leftist organizations were active then, nor the ideological differences between them (though they ranged from legalistic confrontation to revolutionary armed guerrillas), or even what their acronyms stood for (ALN, MR-8, VPR, DI-GB, etc). If you're unfamiliar with Brazilian politics, you won't be aware that one of the kidnappers, Franklin Martins, became a popular political TV commentator in Brazil's largest network corporation (!) and is actually a minister of state (!!). Or that one of the released prisoners, José Dirceu, had plastic surgery to alter his face, changed his name and identity and come back (illegally) to Brazil, continuing his clandestine activities. In 2003, Dirceu became an all-powerful minister of state and right arm to Brazil's President Lula, until, in 2006, he was caught in one of Brazil's dirtiest political scandals involving active corruption and was forced to resign, in one of the most detrimental drawbacks of Brazil's first democratically elected left-wing government.The reason for hiding that notification may be obvious: Da-Rin doesn't wish us to connect them with what they've BECOME, he's trying to capture what they once were. Besides, if Da- Rin were to "connect all the dots" (for example, giving them time to say us how they regained legitimate citizenship), he would have required some 4 or 5 hours (it's a REALLY complex and multi-layered saga). The necessary thing is this is the first time all the active participants of the notorious kidnapping -- or "capture" as Martins prefers to place it -- express in a single movie their recollections and afterthoughts about that happening that probably (as some of them admit now) triggered the violent counter-reaction of the military vs leftist organizations, ultimately leading Brazil to the darkest and most violent times (the early and mid-1970s) of the military regime -- a time when illegal, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and assassination became routine practice vs revolutionaries, artists, workers, union leaders, students and intellectuals.One of the vital things when watching this documentary is to realize how incredibly young most of the activists were at the time (most in their early 20s), how every one's "commitment to the cause" and political experience varied greatly, and how the praxis of urban guerrilla was still thought to be a perfectly valid way of overthrowing dictatorial regimes -- Cuba still represented the realization of the Marxist doctrines and the proletarian revolutionary dream, though uncomfortable questions were being posed by controversial movies like T.G.Alea's 1968 "Memórias del Subdesarrollo" and Glauber Rocha's 1967 "Terra em Transe", as well as by some top intellectuals. It's also fascinating to realize that there was once an era (those nice 1960s) where political problems -- anti-imperialism, anti-militarism and legitimate democracy -- should apparently unite such various "birds" ("Uccellacci e Uccellini") as liberals, historical communists, rebellious/expelled military men, petit bourgeois students, intellectuals, artists and proletarians, today unequivocally separated in distinct interests, corporations and social classes, most of them (some placidly, some miserably, some shamelessly) just minding their own businesses."Hércules 56" is a significant piece of the mosaic that Brazilian cinema is trying to place together in its healthy effort to reassess for 21st century viewers the ominous 21 years of dictatorial military regime (1964-1985), something which can't, of course, be covered by one, five or even 10 films. Even if "Hércules 56" covers "only" one single (big) event, and even if it does require some homework from the audience, it's essential viewing for all those interested in Brazilian and Latin-American history.PS: This same kidnapping is fictionally depicted in Bruno Barreto's romanticized and politically sanitized "4 Days in September" with Alan Arkin and Fernanda Torres.



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