The film is a free adaptation to fiction of the life of one of the worst communist guerrillas that ever lived in Brazil. It can not be considered a biographical film, much less a documentary, since many situations and scenes were created by the film director, niece of the terrorist, to substantiate the character's "hero" thesis. No matter how clear the interest in humanizing Marighella, trying to turn it into myth, the insistence on trying to associate it simply as an uncle, an ordinary man, is no longer a mere initial curiosity and gradually becomes an exaggeration unnecessary of the director. This duality, between the familiar and historical aspect, punctuates the whole film, provoking a clear conflict in the "documentary", making it a work of fiction. In the real life, the main character was never black, but in the film, the discourse of humanization and equality, loses space for the victimization of this criminal, responsible for several brutal murders during the Period of Military Intervention in Brazil (1964-1981). Unfortunately, when political and ideological discourse seeks to be superior to the production of a work of art, we have only the production of a mediocre film, disguised as a documentary that seeks to present only one facet of Brazilian history in this period. Wanting to justify brutal killings for simple acts of political intolerance.
A tad slower than I would've liked, though <em>'Marighella'</em> is still very good. Seu Jorge puts in a noteworthy performance throughout, all the more impressive given acting isn't his bread and butter. I also enjoyed Bruno Gagliasso in this, not his character of course but the actor's showing is good. The rest of the cast, e.g. Humberto Carrão and Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, merit praise too. I can't say I knew anything about Carlos Marighella (surname did ring a slight bell beforehand, mind) or even much about this era of Brazil, which is something I actually prefer as I like to judge a film as a film and not having prior knowledge only helps that. Therefore, I wouldn't know how truthful this biopic is or isn't but I will say it doesn't hold much back - there are some very rough scenes scattered across the near 3hrs. Speaking of the run time, I do think it's ever so slightly overlong - I was never pining for the finish or anything close to that, but there are a few moments where I felt the film could've sped itself up a bit. It's not a true criticism of mine, though.
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