20.13: Purgatory

Synopsis: Mozambique, 24th of December 1969, a Portuguese army patrol return to headquarters bringing in a prisoner. A few hours later, he is found dead in his cell. Who killed him? and why? tensions...
Genre: Drama, Mystery, War
Director(s): Joaquim Leitão
  1 nomination.
114 min

Put him over here, here...

- Carefully, carefully.

- I don't want to die...

Vicente will be right there.

You'll feel much better in no time.

Unless one of these boys

throws you down a ravine.

That doesn't seem like

such a bad idea, Sir.

That way we wouldn't have

to put up with him any more.

Or hear him moaning.

All because of a tiny little scratch.

We still haven't got a radio connection,

Sir. I just get noise.

Sod the bloody radio.

Get up, you n*gger! Quick!

Get up, n*gger! Get up, for Chrissakes!

Be careful with that n*gger, Sir.

He's a sly one.

He pretends to be moving

but doesn't budge an inch.

Son of a b*tch of a n*gger.

If you don't start moving, I'll ram

this knife up your ass. Understand?

I'll kill you right here and now,

you bastard.

You're not killing anybody.

I never gave you that order...

He's playing with us, Sir.

But I'll soon wipe that smile off his face.

I'll kill him.

Around here, you follow my orders.

I want that man alive

and walking of his own accord.

That couldn't be easier.

We just have to tie a loop in the rope,

attach it to his balls and pull tight.

You'll see how he starts

moving straight away!

- Where to, ma'am?

- Over there, please.

Come on, let's go.

- Here, ma'am?

- Yes, that's fine.

December 24. Time drags on.

And I increasingly dislike the things

I do to spend the time.

A bit more over here, please.

This side.

You have to stretch out over there.

They're supposed to go here.

That's right.

Like it?

I do. It's very beautiful...

And I've got a surprise for you

later tonight...

Lieutenant Gaio's patrol will arrive

before nightfall, won't it? I'm worried...

It will.

In your positions, go on.

What are you doing out here?

Get one thing straight:

You don't leave the radio for a single

second, without my authorization.

- Understood?

- Yes, Sir.

- Frenchy?

- Yes, Sir.

You stay with him. If there's any news,

tell me straight away.

But no shouting, or running.

Now see what you can find out.



What's the matter now, Esperana?

- Well, how are things going?

- Fine.

- You weren't expecting this, huh?

- No, I wasn't!

When Leonor told me

she'd be alone for Christmas,

I decided to make this little visit.

- Good morning, Sir.

- Good morning!

Anyway I had to make a visit...

So I decided to mix

business with pleasure.

If you're not angry with one another,

why didn't you spend Christmas

with your wife?

Things got a bit more

complicated round here.

I've got a patrol out there, to the north,

along the river.

We detected suspect movements and...

Cut the bullshit.

They're just looking for contraband!

We're close to the border,

the river is low,

and they take the opportunity

to make a shortcut.

I imagine.

After the hell you went through

in your previous zone,

this is perhaps a little bit too quiet.

It's a shame, because there's plenty

others who'd like to be in your place.

But they didn't have my luck...

True... luck... and a certain person

pulling the right strings...

What have you got for me today?

I've got a few love letters

and aerograms.


- Who's the floosie?

- That's the Captain's wife!

Men love making speeches.

Christ, when will this ever end.

That way they can be sure

they'll have the last word.

You still haven't told me

whether you're happy to see me.

I had a long speech for you,

but I was deeply moved

by the simple and dignified manner

in which I was received.

So I'm just going to tell you...

a few simple and direct words.

Because we're soldiers,

men of action and few words,

what I want to tell you

is that victory is close at hand...

- Oscar, bravo, juliet, can you hear me?

- Let's get going.

I don't want the column to stretch out.

If it wasn't for my consideration

for our Lieutenant,

I would have knifed him good already.

He'd be bleeding like a pig.

And then you could make

one of those marks, in your handle.

Like our Captain.

Alfa, charlie, bravo, over!


- Happy holidays, Merry Christmas!

- Happy holidays.

Thanks. You too.

Can you hear me?

Alfa, charlie, bravo, over!

- I can hear you!

- Sir! Sir!

- Alfa, charlie, bravo!

- I read you!

We've got a man down

who needs to be evacuated.

Can we talk a little?

Just the two of us?

Not now.

I've got some business to handle.

I really can't.

Do you mind doing the honours?

Of course, Sir...

But don't go far. I might need you.

Well, any wounded?

I didn't understand very well.

I think there's only one.

- Did you find out who?

- No, Sir.

What's their position?

We're... 2 km from base.

Oscar, delta, juliet, over!

Alfa, charlie, bravo, over!

We're 2 km from base. Over.

I'm not waiting round here doing nothing.

Let's get going.

Merry Christmas...

It was during the night.

You woke up with gunshots.

There was an exchange of fire,

but you're not sure with whom,

because it was dark

and you only saw the sparks.

That's about it, isn't it?

Those are the facts.

But only Lito can explain

how everything began and why,

because he was on watch.


he was injured right at the beginning

and couldn't tell us anything.

I didn't ask him either.

I have no doubt you acted

with the best of intentions,

and even showed a certain

amount of leadership.

But you're an officer of the Portuguese

army, not a boy scout leader.

You shouldn't be satisfied

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Tino Navarro

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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