In December 1968, the internationally-renowned musician Caetano Veloso was taken from his home by the Brazilian military regime and imprisoned for 54 days. 50 years later, the film paints an intimate portrait of Caetano’s incarceration as he recalls those painful memories and performs songs that marked his imprisonment.
On December 13, 1968, Brazil’s military dictatorship passed an act that allows arresting suspects without a warrant. Two weeks later, 26-year-old singer Caetano Veloso gets arrested at his house in Sao Paulo. After spending a week in solitary confinement, he gets locked up in a military prison for the next two months. Sitting in front of the camera, Veloso talks about what happened 50 years ago as if it were yesterday. He remembers every detail from the song he sang with his friends on the night he got arrested to the experiences he had in prison. The film only shows Veloso’s interview against the backdrop of a concrete wall that resembles the prison until it finally shows photos and documents taken during imprisonment in the end. The various experiences he had in prison are delivered through his diverse facial expressions, while the trembling hands show the intensity of the horrifying moments. It is also impressive that there is barely any music used while the film is about Veloso, a world-class singer. The two or three songs used are only there so naturally in the process of explaining the situation and have the lyrics that incorporate the experience he had. This restrained directional choice tells the barbaric and brutal violence the artist had to go through in a unique and effective way. (CHUN Jinsu)
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