HomePower Beats Club

Review: ‘A Twelve Year Night’ captures real-life torment of Uruguayan political prisoners, including a future president

For one thing, it’s a true story, culled from the real-life experiences of the three featured prisoners, who at the time of their capture were members of Uruguay’s radical, trade union-affiliated Tupamaros movement, which was quashed during the military’s coup. With the success of the junta, a handful of Tupamaros were spirited away from their prison cells in 1973 and subjected to the kind of targeted, extended isolation that more resembled a hostage scenario by vengeful overseers than a law-dictated sentence. After democracy returned to Uruguay, one of the men, soft-spoken guerrilla José Mujica, who went by “Pepe,” would go on to become Uruguay’s president from 2010 to 2015.