Night of the Pencils (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Night of the Pencils (1986)





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Movie Info

The brutal kidnapping, torture, and killing of six out of seven high school students in 1976 is the subject of this powerful docudrama, a highly-charged, emotionally gripping condemnation of Argentina's military rulers at that time. One of the students survived the ordeal, and this story is based on his experiences and knowledge of what happened. These students, five boys and two girls, first led a successful campaign for a reduction in student bus fares under the rule of Isabel Peron. When the military took over the government, they laid down oppressive restrictions on student activities. These same seven students campaigned against the restrictions via grafitti and leaflets. As a consequence, policemen in the guise of civilians raided each of their homes on the same evening, brought them to hidden detention sites and proceeded to tie them up, humiliate them verbally and psychologically, blindfold them, and torture them. Their objective was to extract false confessions from them, saying they were involved with the guerrilla movement. All but one died under interrogation, none of their relatives were able to find out where they were kept, and the government blatantly denied all knowledge of the seven. If it were not for the one survivor, the truth may never have come out.


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Audience Reviews for Night of the Pencils


Heartbreaking beyond any comprehensible measure, "La Noche de los Lápices" is in its rights possibly one of the most scarring horror-docudramas ever conceived. The fact that this film did not receive the attention that it deserves almost overshadows the fact that instead of showing this to high school students in America, we were forced to watch cartoons of George Washington giving everyone hugs. The cultural impact of this true story is beautifully composed through impressive cinematography and raw acting. Gritty and ultra-realistic, "La Noche de los Lápices" is one to watch if you want to feel more human. Keep in mind, this is not a movie to watch with candlelight and wine. A box of kleenex and someone to sob on will do just well.

Sean Michael Smith
Sean Michael Smith

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