The Burning Season

D
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Nature
September 16, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

The way The Burning Season (HBO, Sept. 17, 8-10 p.m.) tells the story of Chico Mendes reveals very little of his inner life. Mendes fought to raise the standard of living for poor Brazilian workers, and was murdered in 1988 for his efforts. Raul Julia (The Addams Family) plays Mendes with hard eyes and a soft smile; Julia carefully avoids making Mendes a saint or a fanatic. But he’s virtually alone in this effort. The script by Ron Hutchinson and the direction of John Frankenheimer cast the subject as nothing less than Brazil’s naive but noble savior. We rarely see him doing anything but making grand pronouncements about justice; the occasional scenes with his wife, Ilzamar (Kamala Dawson), are trite. The movie has a botched, disorganized feeling; Sonia Braga is in many scenes, but her character-apparently that of a teacher- is never properly introduced, and she has so few lines, you get the feeling most of her performance is on the cutting-room floor. D

The Burning Season

type
Book
Genre
Nature
author
Andrew Revkin
publisher
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The Burning Season

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