A TWELVE YEAR NIGHT

A TWELVE YEAR NIGHT (LA NOCHE DE 12 ANOS)

(director/writer: Alvaro Brechner; cinematographer: Carlos Catalan; editors: Irene Blecua/Nacho Ruiz Capillas; music: Federico Jusid; cast: Antonio de la Torre (Jose “Pepe” Mujica), Chino Darin (Maurricio Rosencof), Alfonso Tort (Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro), César Troncoso (Militar), Soledad Villamil (Psiquiatra); Runtime: 122; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Fernando Sokolowicz/Philippe Gompel/Mariela Besuievsky/Birgit Kemner; Netflix; 2018-Uruguay-in Spanish with English subtitles)

 

If you’re up to seeing such a stark political film, this one has the look of authenticity.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The Madrid-based Uruguayan filmmaker Alvaro Brechner (“Bad Day to Go Fishing”/”Mr. Kaplan”) writes and directs this emotional political film. In 1973, a secret military operation takes three Tupamaro political prisoners (José Mujica, Mauricio Rosencof and Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro) held in an Uruguay prison and removes them from their cells to be kept in solitary confinement for more than twelve years, in the hopes of driving them mad. The three survive the cruel punishment and are freed with the fall of the military dictatorship. One of the three survivors is Jose “Pepe” Mujica (Antonio de la Torre). He will serve as president of Uruguay from 2010-15. The unpleasant true story is ‘what it is.’ Its graphic torture scenes and its bleak atmosphere makes for a tough view. But it’s a technically accomplished film and is well-acted. Considering how the harshness of the subject matter makes it hardly fit for entertainment, it’s nevertheless worth seeing as an historical film. Though there’s not much plot, the three prisoners deserve our praise for enduring such barbarous treatment and never cracking. If you’re up to seeing such a stark political film, this one has the look of authenticity.

REVIEWED ON 12/1/2018 GRADE: B+   https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/

Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”

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