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Unconventional Wisdom

In Four Days in September, the political is personal

Of such disarming, unexpected incidents -- of such startling intimacies, really -- does Barreto, the director who says he's not political, create what might be a new kind of "political" filmmaking. Filmmaking bound not to rhetoric or ideology but to the actual emotions that politics can evoke. "Bourgeois sentimentality," Jonas from Sao Paulo might sneer. "Irresponsible drivel," a rightist might charge.

Oh, but Four Days in September, with its detail and its fully-drawn characters and the light that shines into all corners, gets under your skin in ways that Costa-Gavras's overheated righteousness can't. But then, a play always has more to say than a placard, doesn't it?

Four Days in September.
Directed by Bruno Barreto. With Pedro Cardoso, Alan Arkin and Fernanda Torres.

Rated R.
113 minutes.

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