10 films about the 1964 coup d’état and the civil-military dictatorship in Brazil

Originally published March 31, 2020.

On March 31, 1964, Brazil entered one of the darkest periods of its long history: shortly after the deposition of President João Goulart, threatened with death before even returning from his trip to China, the army seized power unconstitutionally and implemented the coup that would last 21 years (i.e. until 1985).

In the midst of those more than two decades, in fact, the period of greatest repression would come with Costa e Silva, the 2nd serviceman in the presidency who granted the AI-5 and, with him, ordered the closure of Congress. and repression and torture against government opponents (in this case, anyone who dared to denounce those in power). The result could not have been different: Thousands of people were jailed and killed, and news of these murders would surface many years later (and to this day, they are being discovered).

Even so, during the dictatorship, countless artists took a stand against the government and did everything to criticize it, whether through music, literature or film. From Caetano Veloso to Glauber Rocha, these prolific names inspired a generation to rise up against censorship and, to this day, they serve as the basis for the feature films, novels and series set in this era.

For this reason, CinePOP has separated ten films about the civil-military regime that began in the 1960s, spanning several decades and helping to destroy the existing denial about this troubled time.


Enjoy watching:

Management: Glauber Rocha

In the fictional country of Eldorado, journalist Paulo Martins finds himself at the center of a power struggle, abandoning his life as a writer for politicians to live with his girlfriend in Alecrim. However, in a situation of extreme injustice, he finally decides to join the armed struggle.


Director: Roberto Farias

In the 1970s, the time of the years of lead and the economic miracle of the civil-military dictatorship, the country was divided in two: on the one hand, the public was delighted with the Brazilian football team during the Cup. world, now based in Mexico; on the other hand, activists and terrorists are tortured by agents of official repression – including Jofro Godoi da Fonseca, imprisoned and tortured after being taken for a leftist guerrilla.


Director: Bruno Barreto

Journalist Fernando and his friend Caesar embrace the armed struggle against the military dictatorship in the late 1960s, after the publication of AI-5. The two enlist in a left-wing guerrilla group, and in one of the militant group’s actions, Caesar is wounded and captured by the army. Fernando then plans to kidnap the United States Ambassador to Brazil, Charles Burke Elbrick, to negotiate the freedom of Caesar and other inmates.

Director: Camilo Tavares

Secret documents and original recordings from the time show the influence of the United States government in the Brazilian coup of 1964. The film highlights the involvement of the CIA and the White House itself in it. the military action that triggered the dictatorship.

Management: Belisário Franca

Between 1972 and 1975, the Brazilian army sent thousands of soldiers to the Amazon jungle to exterminate the Guerrilha do Araguaia. Forty years later, soldiers who participated in the conflict recount the atrocities of torture they endured: the treatment of guerrillas and soldiers is barely discernible.



Management: Oswaldo Caldeira

To aid the revolutionary struggle, a bank employee decides to embezzle a large sum of money from the bank where he works, which ends up putting his life in danger.

Director: Paulo César Saraceni

The 1964 military coup in Brazil drags a young journalist into an existential vacuum. Faced with love and political disappointments, he finds himself with no prospects for life.

Director: Silvio Tendler

The film traces the political trajectory of João Goulart, the 24th Brazilian president, overthrown by a military coup in the early hours of April 1, 1964.

Management: Lúcia Murat

Murat, who was tortured during the military dictatorship, tells the story of some Brazilian women who took up arms against the military regime. There is a series of testimonies of guerrillas and scenes from the daily life of these women who have rediscovered, each in their own way, the different meanings of life.

Management: Sérgio Rezende

The true story of a captain who, during the military dictatorship in Brazil, abandoned the armed forces and joined left-wing guerrilla groups, becoming one of its most notable leaders.

Make sure to watch:


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