Best movies about dictatorshipsby guisreis | created - 30 Aug 2013 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
Fictitious or not modern totalitarian regimes have not been incuded. Movies about colonial oppression have.
See also my list about distopy and fictional dictatorships.
Add: Militares da Democracia, by Silvio Tendler - https://www.facebook.com/Militares-Da-Democracia-Militares-que-resistiram-ao-Golpe-de-64-584276421662211/
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1. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War
In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.
Votes: 526,752 | Gross: $37.63M
2. Schindler's List (1993)
R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.
Votes: 985,548 | Gross: $96.07M
3. Batismo de Sangue (2006)
110 min | Drama
During the period of 1964 to 1985, Brazil lived a military dictatorship. In the 60s, the Dominican friars Tito, Betto, Fernando and Ivo help leftist organizations. However, they are ... See full summary »
4. Land and Freedom (1995)
Not Rated | 109 min | Drama, War
David is an unemployed communist that comes to Spain in 1937 during the civil war to enroll the republicans and defend the democracy against the fascists. He makes friends between the soldiers.
Votes: 8,701 | Gross: $0.23M
5. The Return to Homs (2013)
Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary, Biography, History
A look behind the barricades of the besieged city of Homs, where for nineteen-year-old Basset and his ragtag group of comrades, the audacious hope of revolution is crumbling like the buildings around them.
6. Soy Cuba (1964)
108 min | Drama, Music, War
Four vignettes about the lives of the Cuban people set during the pre-revolutionary era.
Votes: 6,653 | Gross: $0.16M
Cuba under the rule of Fulgencio Batista.
7. The Last King of Scotland (2006)
R | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History
Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970's.
Votes: 157,714 | Gross: $17.61M
8. O Homem que Virou Suco (1980)
97 min | Drama
São Paulo police mistakenly thinks a folk poet and singer is the same man who had stabbed his boss.
Dictatorship is not a main issue of this film but the story happens during military rule in Brazil. Besides that, the values of military dictatorship and repression against unions appear in the movie.
9. Eles Não Usam Black-Tie (1981)
120 min | Drama
Union leader's son doesn't want to engage in a strike, because his wife is pregnant, thus disregarding his father's tradition of political activism.
10. April Captains (2000)
123 min | Drama, History, War
Story of the 1974 coup that overthrew the right-wing Portuguese dictatorship--which continued the fascist policies of long-time dictator Antonio Salazar--and of two young army captains who were involved in it.
11. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)
110 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
Two youths sent for a Maoist "re-education" in the mountains fall in love with the village tailor's granddaughter.
Votes: 3,967 | Gross: $0.67M
12. Etz Limon (2008)
Not Rated | 106 min | Drama
The story of a Palestinian widow who must defend her lemontree field when a new Israeli Defense Minister moves next to her and threatens to have her lemon grove torn down.
Votes: 5,735 | Gross: $0.57M
13. The Lives of Others (2006)
R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.
Votes: 293,993 | Gross: $11.29M
14. The Official Story (1985)
Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, History, War
After the end of the Dirty War, a high school teacher sets out to find out who the mother of her adopted daughter is.
Votes: 5,872 | Gross: $0.03M
16. Michael Collins (1996)
R | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller
Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
Votes: 26,164 | Gross: $11.09M
17. Kamchatka (2002)
106 min | Drama
The film is seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy, Harry (Matías del Pozo), who does not know that Argentina's 1976 coup d'état is impacting his life. After witnessing the "... See full summary »
18. O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias (2006)
PG | 110 min | Drama
A boy is left alone in a Jewish neighborhood in the year of 1970, where both world cup and dictatorship happen in Brazil.
Votes: 5,287 | Gross: $0.76M
22. O Dia que Durou 21 Anos (2012)
77 min | Documentary, History, Thriller
Provides evidence of manipulation and investment funding from the U.S. government to carry out the Brazilian military coup that occurred in 1964.
23. Dawson Isla 10 (2009)
117 min | Drama
After the 1973 coup that deposed Allende and brought Pinochet to power in Chile, the former members of his cabinet are imprisoned on Dawson Island, the world's southernmost concentration ... See full summary »
I have only watched the final part of this film, unfortunately.
24. State of Siege (1972)
Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, Thriller
In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »
25. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
Not Rated | 113 min | Drama
A woman assists her friend in arranging an illegal abortion in 1980s Romania.
Votes: 49,332 | Gross: $1.19M
Ceausescu dictatorship is not an openly treated issue in this movie about abortion, but life conditions under the regime are shown throughout the film.
26. Che: Part One (2008)
Not Rated | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 1956, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and a band of Castro-led Cuban exiles mobilize an army to topple the regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista.
Votes: 40,641 | Gross: $1.73M
27. Ojos que no ven (2003)
PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Thriller, Drama
Through out six different and yet parallel stories that take place during the corrupted goverment during the 90s in Peru, Lombardi tells the moral decomposition that ran through all classes and generations of the peruvian society.
28. Butterfly (1999)
R | 96 min | Drama
For Moncho, it's an idyllic year: he starts school, he has a wonderful teacher, he makes a friend in Roque, he begins to figure out some of the mysteries of Eros, and, with his older ... See full summary »
Votes: 6,980 | Gross: $2.09M
29. Cidadão Boilesen (2009)
92 min | Documentary
A documentary about the controversial businessman Henning Boilesen Jr. and his involvement with the military regime as one of its most enthusiastic supporters, financing it and ... See full summary »
30. A Luneta do Tempo (2014)
99 min | Drama, Musical, Western
In arid and treacherous lands, Lampião and his band are pursued by Antero Tenente and his troop, which faces the capture of the bandit as a matter of honor.
Part of the story happens during Getúlio Vargas dictatorship.
31. The Man in the Black Cape (1986)
120 min | Biography, Crime
Biography of Brazilian congressman Tenório Cavalcanti, who used to appear in public carrying a machine-gun, and wearing a black cloak.
The final part shows the military coup d'état.
32. Cuchillo de palo (2010)
93 min | Documentary
Of all my uncles, Rodolfo was the only one who didn't want to be a blacksmith like my grandfather: He wanted to be a dancer. The search for the traces of his life leads to the discovery ... See full summary »
About Strossner's dictatorship in Paraguay, particularly about violence against homosexuals.
34. The First Grader (2010)
PG-13 | 103 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
The story of an 84 year-old Kenyan villager and ex Mau Mau veteran who fights for his right to go to school for the first time to get the education he could never afford.
Votes: 3,810 | Gross: $0.33M
The violent past of British colonial rule is a shadow for the main character.
35. A King in New York (1957)
G | 105 min | Comedy, Drama
A recently-deposed European monarch seeks shelter in New York City, where he becomes an accidental television celebrity and is later wrongly accused of being a Communist.
If it is not held properly in a dictatorship, it depict very undemocratic Mccarthism in US.
36. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
R | 120 min | Drama
A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life.
Votes: 12,080 | Gross: $17.04M
37. Reds (1981)
PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.
Votes: 17,970 | Gross: $40.38M
Lack of freedom of thought inside the United States, authoritarian regime in Soviet Union, colonialism throughout the world...
38. Wadjda (2012)
PG | 98 min | Comedy, Drama
An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.
Votes: 15,281 | Gross: $1.35M
Politics is not clearly an issue in the movie, but the story happens not only under an authoritarian rule but also show a very authoritatian and sexist culture and the cult of personality.
39. Friendly Fire (1998)
76 min | Drama
Brazil in the early 70s. Miguel, Eloi, Osvaldo and Paolo take part in armed attacks against the military dictatorship. They pay a heavy price with torture and arrest. Today the four friends... See full summary »
41. The Devil's Backbone (2001)
R | 106 min | Drama, Horror
After Carlos - a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War - arrives at an ominous boys' orphanage, he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover.
Votes: 53,323 | Gross: $0.75M
42. Olga (2004)
141 min | Biography, Drama, History
Based upon the true story of Olga Benário, the German-born wife of Brazilian communist leader Luís Carlos Prestes. During the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas (1930-1945) she was arrested and... See full summary »
43. Zuzu Angel (2006)
108 min | Biography, Drama, History
Based on the true story of Zuzu Angel, a famous Brazilian fashion designer in the 70's, who searches for her son Stuart, a member of a leftist university group who suddenly disappears ... See full summary »
44. Quase Dois Irmãos (2004)
102 min | Drama
The strange friendship between two men of opposite social classes. Miguel is a senator. His childhood friend Jorge is a major drug-dealer. In the 1970s, they meet in prison: Miguel was ... See full summary »
45. Team America: World Police (2004)
R | 98 min | Action, Comedy
Popular Broadway actor Gary Johnston is recruited by the elite counter-terrorism organization Team America: World Police. As the world begins to crumble around him, he must battle with terrorists, celebrities and falling in love.
Votes: 144,787 | Gross: $32.77M
The movie is nice because it criticizes American imperialist foreign politics, but it also does show North Korean dictatiorship.
46. Undergångens arkitektur (1989)
119 min | Documentary, History
An absorbing and chilling documentary about the National Socialist aesthetic, and how attempts to create the Aryan Ideal caused the extermination of millions. Aspects covered include: ... See full summary »
47. O Menino no Espelho (2014)
78 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
The story of a boy who sees his mirror reflection come to life.
The movie happens during the dictatorship lead by Getúlio Vargas. Though, it does not focuses authoritarian rule, but the ban on fascist Brazilian Integralist Action, also known as "green shirts", besides other issues.
49. O Bom Burguês (1979)
99 min | Crime
True story of Brazilian bank clerk who supplied money for the guerilla fighting against the military dictatorship of the 70s. When he changes his disguise, he gets involved with high ... See full summary »
51. Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)
PG | 104 min | Drama, War
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
Votes: 26,486 | Gross: $4.54M
53. The Violin (2005)
Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Music
In an unnamed Latin American country that closely resembles Mexico, the government fights a rural insurgency with torture, assault, rape, and murder. Soldiers descend on a town, cutting off... See full summary »
Votes: 2,090 | Gross: $0.07M
The "dirty war" in Mexico.
55. Hyojadong ibalsa (2004)
116 min | Comedy, Drama
Follows a president's barber, his wife, and their only son through four decades of tumultuous Korean history.
The film starts with the repression and the fall of authoritarian First Republic of South Korea. Most of the movie happens during the electoral but not really democratic and very repressive Third Republic and the more explicit and dire Fourth Republic.
57. Istanbul United (2014)
Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, History, Sport
The 'Ultra' fans of Istanbul's three biggest football clubs, known for their violent rivalries begin fighting side-by-side to protect civilians from police, as 'Istanbul United'.
Not a dictatorship, but a very violent regime.
58. Lili Marleen (1981)
R | 120 min | Drama, Music, Romance
In Switzerland German singer 'Willie' falls in love with Jewish composer 'Robert' who offers resistance to the Nazis by helping refugees. But his family thinks that 'Willie' is also a Nazi ... See full summary »
59. A Cor do seu Destino (1987)
104 min | Drama
Teenager and his Chilean parents live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in exile, after his brother is killed by the military government in Chile. Years later, still haunted by the past, he ... See full summary »
A movie in Rio de Janeiro on Chilean military dictatorship.
61. Simonal - Ninguém Sabe o Duro que Dei (2009)
98 min | Documentary, Biography, Music
A documentary about the life, the controversial career, and the decline of one of the greatest brazilian singers and showmen, Wilson Simonal.
62. Crônica da demolição (2015)
90 min | Documentary, History
At the heart of Rio de Janeiro's downtown, an empty square with a dry fountain and an underground parking. There was located the Monroe Palace, that once housed the Senate, and was ... See full summary »
63. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
When Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. must follow in his father's footsteps to stop the Nazis from getting their hands on the Holy Grail first.
Votes: 581,649 | Gross: $197.17M
Nazi Germany and French colonization in Alexandretta, Turkey.
64. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure
After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.
Votes: 371,746 | Gross: $179.87M
Authoritarian governments are not an issue in this orientalist adventure movie, though, the story begins in Kuomitang dictatorship in Republic of China and then follows to British Empire in India.
65. Pokazatelnyy protsess: Istoriya Pussy Riot (2013)
Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
Three young women face seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. But who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world ... See full summary »
Not exactly a dictatorship, but certainly a polity lacking democracy.
67. Cabra Marcado Para Morrer (1984)
119 min | Documentary
Eduardo Coutinho was filming a movie with the same name in the Northeast of Brazil, in 1964, when there came the military coup. He had to interrupt the project, and came back to it in 1981,... See full summary »
68. Montevideo, Bog te video! (2010)
140 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A story about one team that decides to follow a dream that takes them on a journey to the First World Football Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930. A dream that allows them to become true stars and living legends.
Although not highlighting it very much (and not omitting it either), this story is held during royal dictatorship of King Alexander I.
69. Four Days in September (1997)
R | 110 min | Action, Drama, History
Fernando, a journalist, and his friend César join terrorist group MR8 in order to fight Brazilian dictatorial regime during the late sixties. Cesare, however, is wounded and captured during... See full summary »
Votes: 3,935 | Gross: $0.31M
73. October 1 (2014)
148 min | Thriller
As Nigeria prepares for independence from the British in 1960, a seasoned police detective rushes to find the serial killer slaughtering its native young women.
British colonial last days in Nigeria.
74. Jules and Dolores (2016)
90 min | Comedy, History
Rio de Janeiro, 1983. in order to pay off his gambling debts and to please the love of his life, Peralta and his happy-go-lucky buddy Borracha decided to commit a striking heist. Curiously ... See full summary »
Brazilian military dictatorship is not a central issue but the story happens during that authoritarian time and police used to torture a lot.
75. Wir wollten aufs Meer (2012)
116 min | Drama
The dream of two young men to become sailors collides with the harsh realities of life in East Germany.
Cinematography is perhaps the best of this film about Eastern Germany.
76. The Last Station (2009)
R | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
A historical drama that illustrates Russian author Leo Tolstoy's struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things.
Votes: 16,267 | Gross: $6.62M
77. A Primeira Vez do Cinema Brasileiro (2013)
84 min | Documentary, Adventure, Biography
In 1982, almost five million people took theaters to see Erotic Things, the first Brazilian porn movie. The production is today considered a major episode in the history of Brazilian cinema... See full summary »
79. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
Not Rated | 121 min | Drama, War
In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.
Votes: 43,311 | Gross: $0.06M
Colonial oppression is a foreign dictatorship.
81. Operação Cajueiro: um Carnaval de Torturas (2014)
82. Tempos de Paz (2009)
80 min | Drama
Segismundo (Tony Ramos) is a former political police officer of Getúlio Vargas' government, who used to torture prisoners. In April 1945, he is the chief of the Immigration Office in Rio de... See full summary »
84. Os Desafinados (2008)
139 min | Drama, Musical
'Slightly Out Of Tune' is about a group of friends who come of age during the political turmoil that plagued Brazil in the 1960's and 70's. Together, these musicians form a band called "Os ... See full summary »
Both Brazilian and Argentine dictatorships.
85. The Interview (II) (2014)
R | 112 min | Comedy
Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show "Skylark Tonight". When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission.
Votes: 271,737 | Gross: $6.11M
86. A Terceira Morte de Joaquim Bolívar (2000)
104 min | Drama
The ideological conflict between Joaquim Bolívar (Sérgio Siviero), a young barber member of the Communist Party and the powerful Coronel Gaudêncio (Othon Bastos), a typical province political leader.
88. Trago Comigo (2013)
84 min | Drama
Telmo writes a play to remind him of his past and of the period he was kept prisoner in the dungeons of the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985), revealing secrets he would rather keep forgotten.
Interesting movie about a play on Brazilian military dictatorship, that mixes fiction and documentary. Testimonies are quite strong and the film would be better if its actors were better too.
91. Casseta & Planeta: A Taça do Mundo É Nossa (2003)
90 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance
A satire about the dictatorship period in Brazil, in which communist militants try to steal the soccer World Cup Trophy from the players Pelé and Carlos Alberto Torres.
This surrealist comedy is very loosely based on Brazilian dictatorship, but mocks military speech (and also many other things). It is not brilliant, but funny. Casseta & Planeta guys have been much funnier than in their conservative and without creativity later years.
93. He Named Me Malala (2015)
PG-13 | 88 min | Documentary
A look at the events leading up to the Taliban's attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls' education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.
Votes: 3,615 | Gross: $2.64M
94. Lara (2002)
107 min | Biography, Drama
The life of Brazilian actress Odete Lara, muse of the movement called Cinema Novo in Brazil, who exchanged stardom for a quiet and religious life.
95. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
PG-13 | 86 min | Drama, Music, Romance
In November 1958, the American teenager Katey Miller moves with her parents and her younger sister to Havana. Her father is an executive of Ford expatriated to Cuba, and Katey is an ... See full summary »
Votes: 23,927 | Gross: $14.16M
I have only wathed the beginning of this movie held in the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba.