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Response to MinM (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:57 PM

3. Isn't it interesting the film was banned in Chile during Pinochet?

I didn't know it until seeing your post, Good grief. It really wasn't that long ago, in many ways.

Costa Gavras, Missing's director, had a film banned by the U.S., concerning the kidnapping of a torturer, who was, in real life, the torturer who worked first in Brazil, according to all that is publicly known now, and then in Uruguay, in Motevideo, sent there to train police in torture, which he did, using a sound-proof room as he instructed local police personel, working on the people he had arranged to be taken off the street, poor people, street people who wouldn't be missed and searched for right away. That sadistic a-hole was Dan Mitrione. The film was State of Siege.


State of Siege (French title: État de Siège) is a 1972 French film directed by Costa Gavras starring Yves Montand and Renato Salvatori.

Yves Montand plays Philip Michael Santore, an official of the United States Agency for International Development (an organisation sometimes used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods). Posted to a fictional South American country in the early 1970s, Santore is kidnapped by a group of urban guerrillas. The story is based by Costa Gavras on an actual incident in Uruguay in 1970 when U.S. Embassy official Dan Mitrione was kidnapped and killed.

Using Santore's interrogation by his captors as a backdrop, the film explores the often brutal consequences of the struggle between the repressive government of Montevideo and the leftist Tupamaro guerrillas. Using death squads, the government decimates the revolutionary group, whose surviving members vote to execute the smugly calculating Santore, who is accused of arranging training in torture and political manipulation. In the finale a replacement U.S. official arrives, watched from the crowd by a defiant and angry survivor of the radical group.

The film opened to positive reviews from critics and is regarded as one of Costa-Gavras' finest works since the 1969 film Z. While it was released one year later in American theaters, a storm of controversy developed. Many U.S. officials hated the movie and even stated that it was a heap of lies about U.S. involvement in Latin America and other third world countries. In Washington, D.C., it was removed from a special screening at the John F. Kennedy Center, only to be run uncut on a local TV station. Before the 1970s ended, many who decried the film as false found themselves admitting involvement in Latin America, this during the investigations and committee hearings on the CIA and other government groups.[


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You're so right: there are so few people courageous and good enough to stand up for GOOD principles, as we all know they are the ones who put their entire lives at risk, and they very often pay a terrible price. It's a miracle whenever one rises.

Meanwhile, the ones who work against them bury their own consciences, which will come back with a vengeance and become their very worst, most intimate, unavoidable enemies.

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Judi Lynn Jul 2013 OP
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MinM Jul 2013 #2
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