Burn! (1969) - full transcript
The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to deal with the same rebels that he built up because they have seized too much power that now threatens British sugar interests.
One of the hundreds of islands
of the Lesser Antilles. Here, have a look.
You know, most of what you see here
on the windward side is the wild part.
The sugar plantations
and the main port are to leeward.
There's only about 5,000 whites here.
The population's mostly black or mulatto.
The blacks, of course,
are slaves except for a handful
whose owners freed them
for one reason or another.
"Queimada" means "burnt." In fact,
the Portuguese had to burn the island
to put down the resistance of the Indians
when they took it.
And since the natives were all killed,
they brought in slaves from Africa
to work the cane fields.
That large, flat, white rock
you see offshore is called
"Cemitério Branco dos Negros,"
because the bodies of slaves who died
during the trip over were thrown there.
They say they lost
nearly half of the poor beggars.
That exceptional whiteness there
seems, in fact, to derive from the dust
of their bones, which have penetrated into
and merged with the rocks.
No, wait! I want to control the number
of cases before you unload!
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
Out of the way!
'(our bag, senhor?
Yes. All right. Take them.
No, that can wait.
As you wish.
Sir William Walker?
Did you have a pleasant trip, sir?
Yes. The gray dolphins followed us
all the way.
The gray dolphin, you know,
has always been a friend of the mariner.
And the sailor, of course, has always been
the friend of the gray dolphin.
Too late, Sir William. Santiago was caught
10 days ago with all his men.
He's locked up in the fortress.
I'm afraid it's only a question
of hours for him.
Now you will see.
They're even going to chop his head off.
Then they will carry it around the island
as an example.
WALKER: I knew of her husband.
(SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
I knew about your husband.
I never met him but...
It is because of him
that I have come to Queimada.
I am not Portuguese.
I am a friend.
Do you understand?
I would like to meet one of his friends.
One of his real friends.
I ask nothing else.
I don't want to know anything more.
One. One only. Just one.
That's all I need.
WALKER: What is needed here
is someone with courage.
Someone who knows he has
nothing to lose, and yet is not afraid.
You, there! Who gave you that money?
Give it back to me!
Don't go, Mr. Walker.
Without you, nothing will ever be done.
It's finished here.
I wasn't aware that anything had started.
Stinking, lying, black ape!
You filthy thief, you did steal my bags,
- Well, where are they now?
I don't know. I don't know anymore.
- But you did steal them, didn't you?
- It is true, isn't it?
No, it's not true.
You did not steal them.
You gave them to my friend, that's all.
Nobody stole them. Do you understand?
So, you did not steal them?
Then why did you say you did?
Because I said you did?
Because anything a white man says
is right, isn't it?
If I were to say that your mother
was a whore,
would that be true?
Is it true?
My mother is dead.
But you knew her, didn't you?
What was she?
Say what she was!
Go on! What was she?
Go on, say what she was!
A whore, senhor.
Well, I was mistaken.
I thought you were someone else.
What's your name?
Here you are, José. Forget about it.
It was just a bad joke.
(YELLING IN PORTUGUESE)
Come on. Let's go then!
Well, now I believe we have something
to talk about.
Are they all here?
There are 100 million in gold reales.
All we have to do is to take them.
Fifty for you, fifty for me.
Do you agree?
JOSE: They call it
the Bank of the Holy Spirit.
Now, it's very simple.
There's an outside gate, then a large door,
an inside gate and then the safe.
Now, you enter, you take the gold,
you load it onto the cart
and you cross the island to the village
of which I told you.
Now, that is the ship. Look.
So, I shall sail her to the other side
of the island, then we'll go away.
- Well, I to England. You, wherever you like.
- Even Africa?
Yes, even to Africa.
No matter, you have time to think of it.
Now, is the rest understood?
Yes. We walk in and take the gold.
But what about the Portuguese?
At that moment,
they'll have something else to do.
All right, I'll leave this map with you.
I think we know where the village is.
- That's all.
Would you like to taste some rum, senhar?
Well, I'll taste your rum,
but you must try my whiskey.
To the Holy Spirit and its bank.
We drink to England.
- To Africa!
- E a0 mundo!
MAN 1: There is free rum for everybody!
There is enough for all.
MAN 2: Why you bring rum instead
of water today? Came down from heaven?
Don't worry, old man, today's a holiday.
(MAN SINGING DRUNKENLY)
That gold cost a lot.
(SOLDIER SPEAKING PORTUGUESE)
What are you doing here?
Where are you going?
What do you got in here?
Come on, speak up. What is it?
Bananas, senhar. What else?
And what's this? A case of bananas?
Very heavy bananas, huh?
Well, Portuguese die, too.
Better hurry up. I'll see to the ship.
But you be quick, lnglés.
Here's the plantation roughly,
and here's the path.
And it's this village here.
It's a village of ex-slaves, I believe.
Yes, a village of bandits.
Their leader, Santiago,
came from just around there.
Well, in any case, it's a very wealthy
village, because they bought all my goods,
and then they paid for them in gold reales.
Are there many blacks
as rich as that on the island?
No. Just how many were there?
Not more than four or five.
Because that gold has been stolen
from the Bank of Queimada, senhar.
- You don't say.
- There are soldiers.
- Yes, I have seen them.
It's over there, behind the soldiers.
I brought weapons.
But then, we're rather few, aren't we?
I don't suppose they like the Portuguese
any more than we do.
perhaps there's some people up there
who'd be willing to help us.
No, no one will risk being killed
for a dislike.
Least of all for our money.
Well, you ask them anyway.
Maybe they'll help.
JOSE: I am sorry, friends,
but the Portuguese are coming.
They will be here at any moment.
I am sorry it happens here,
here, in your village,
but we can't let the soldiers take us.
Don't you agree?
Maybe most of you will be better off
if you went away.
Up to the sierra.
Better to hide the old ones,
the women and the babies.
But if there are
any of you who are not old,
and are really men,
someone who in life, at least once,
have thought of killing
his Portuguese master,
then now is the time to act.
Portuguese can be killed.
I will prove it to you.
Can you use rifles?
First, I'll show you how to load it.
Now, a measure of powder.
Then the hemp.
A measure of lead.
Again, the hemp.
the rifle is ready.
Tomorrow , lnglés.
I like it here, it's nice.
Wait until after the festa.
As soon as they realize
those soldiers aren't coming back,
they'll send others.
They won't send them in 10s or 20s.
Be a bloody massacre.
Is that why we stole the gold?
To die up here,
or to be rich
and live as free men?
What do you say, José?
Why did we steal the gold?
Like you said, to be rich and free.
And after that?
Is there any left?
you're beginning to like it, aren't you?
No, rum is better.
All right, I'll call the others.
If we go, they will all die.
You will go alone,
I'll stay here.
Gentlemen, let me ask you a question.
Now, my metaphor
might seem a trifle impertinent,
but I think it's very much to the point.
Which do you prefer,
or should I say,
which do you find more convenient?
A wife or one of these mulatto girls?
No, no, please don't misunderstand. I'm
speaking strictly in terms of economics.
What is the cost of the product?
What does the product yield?
The product, in this case, being love.
Purely physical love,
since sentiments, obviously,
play no part in economics.
Now, a wife must be provided
with a home,
with food, with dresses,
with medical attention, etcetera, etcetera.
You're obliged to keep her a whole lifetime
even when she's grown old
and perhaps a trifle unproductive.
Then, of course, if you have the bad luck
to survive her,
you have to pay for the funeral.
No, no, it's true.
Gentlemen, I know it seems amusing but
actually those are the facts, aren't they?
Now, with a prostitute, on the other hand,
it's quite a different matter, isn't it?
You see there's no need
to lodge her or to feed her,
certainly not to dress her or to bury her,
She's yours only when you need her.
You pay her only for that service
and you pay her by the hour.
Which, gentlemen, is more important
and more convenient?
A slave or a paid worker?
Which do you find more convenient?
Foreign domination with its laws,
its vetoes, its taxes,
its commercial monopolies
With your own government,
your own laws, your own administration
and the freedom to trade
with anyone you like
on terms that are dictated only by
the prices on the international market...
Not only for the freedom of trade,
I believe that for many of us
there are idealistic motives
which are even more important.
We are now a nation, a small nation.
Born here and forged with toil,
it took more than three centuries.
A nation, which originated from Portugal
but now is not a part of Portugal anymore.
And that no longer
wants to be a Portuguese colony.
That's all quite correct, my dear Teddy.
We all agree on the idealistic motives.
But it's the example of the whore
that doesn't convince me as yet,
What will happen if
once the Negro ceases to be a slave
and instead of wanting to be a worker,
wants to be the boss?
That's exactly what will happen
if we go on arguing about it.
Four months ago, José Dolores
was on the Sierra Madre
with a few dozen men.
Then he reached Sierra Trinidad
with four or five hundred.
Now there are thousands.
Spreading through the lowlands.
It is my view that
if you don't take immediate action,
if you don't weave yourselves
into this revolt,
you'll be swept away.
Then your ex-slaves,
instead of becoming your workers
will not become your bosses, Mr. Prada,
but your executioners.
Now, what are my interests in the matter?
And who am I?
I represent Her Britannic Majesty.
A British agent, if you prefer.
But actually, you know, England wants
the same thing that you want,
the freedom of trade and therefore an end
to foreign domination in all Latin America.
But what England does not want,
and what I think
you yourselves do not want,
are these revolutions
carried to their extreme consequences.
Men like José Dolores
and Toussaint L'Ouverture
are perhaps necessary to ignite a situation
but then after that, they become
very dangerous as in Haiti, for example.
Yes, you certainly have got a point there.
So, gentlemen, as you can see,
I think our interests coincide,
at least for the moment
and they also coincide with progress
And for those who believe in it,
And you? Do you believe in it, Mr. Walker?
Yes, Mr. Prada, I do.
I don't know how I'll be able
to go through with it, Sir William.
Well, it always seems that way
the first time
but you'll see, it's actually rather simple.
It's only a moment.
Very simple moment, and then it's over.
Come on, men. Forward, follow me!
Go out there, show yourself.
Long live Queimada.
Long live Queimada!
lnglés, when did you get back?
Me? I never left.
I've been here all the time.
Here? And the boat?
And the gold?
Back in the bank.
Sure, and I'm still a porter.
It's all the same as before, eh?
WALKER: If I had told you, José,
to start a revolution,
you wouldn't have understood me.
To rob a bank, yes, that was possible.
First, you learned to kill
in order to defend yourself.
And later you had to kill to defend others.
And the rest came by itself.
What do you get?
Salary from the British Admiralty.
A rather modest one.
And England, what is her part in this?
Portugal is England's enemy
and if the English ships
were not in the port of Queimada,
would already have returned.
And how many English ships are there?
Don't be too ambitious, José.
No, I just asked.
Ramon, Pedro, Andrés,
that's enough now. You dance in town.
It might be better
if you camped here, José.
It would be better.
But they have fought and suffered,
and they have won, lnglés.
They have a right to go to the city.
Well, they'll have plenty of time for that,
all the time in the world.
Gentlemen, I would like to present
General Jose Dolores.
Allow me to present Gen. Dolores,
Mr. Teddy Sanchez.
He directed the rebellion
here in the capital.
It was he who killed the governor
and he is now the president
of the new provisional government
whose first act it was, to abolish slavery.
General, you have our admiration.
Your help has been invaluable. Thank you.
In the name
of the provisional government,
I invite you to discuss with us
the proposals for a constitution.
Gentlemen, shall we?
Sim, that was the chair of the governor.
May God bless you, José Dolores.
you wanted to talk with me?
Here I am.
Well, come forward.
Come on, senhores.
We will talk.
But, I warn you, speak plainly.
Your government is provisional.
Well, my encampment is, too.
My people won't be delayed.
No. No, no, and no.
For a month you've been answering "no."
Why don't you try
suggesting something, General?
Excuse me, General, but I must talk to you
about a very urgent matter
concerning both our countries.
All of Queimada's sugar is rotting
in storehouses and on the quays.
But only a commercial agreement
between us can change this situation.
The temporary government
no longer exists.
With whom can I negotiate?
Who will sign this agreement?
I was advised to ask you.
Who advised it?
WALKER: I did.
I told him.
And not even England can wait forever.
But not only England buys the sugar.
No, and not only Queimada sells it.
Not to mention the fact that in Europe,
they're already extracting it
from sugar beet.
Did you know that, General?
And what if Queimada
were not to sell any more sugar?
How would these people live?
You can't delay your decision, General.
Competition is getting stronger every day.
Are you familiar with the latest
raw sugar market quotation?
Ten and 11 raw sugars,
which up to a month ago,
were quoted at seven and five-eighths
to eight cents a pound
at the last opening, had no price.
The refined, up eight and a quarter, three
quarters, down by a half, more or less.
Number 12, current category,
opened without firmness.
Refined, polarized at 96 degrees, and
lot 60 aren't even quoted at the opening.
That's enough. Get out!
Leave me alone.
Everything seems quite clear.
I'm particularly good
at convincing my people
and you, sir, have all the necessary
qualities of a responsible head of state.
Go away! And stay away!
Ramén, clear the whites out!
All of them!
(RAMON MARSHALLING IN PORTUGUESE)
Who'll govern your island, José?
Who'll run your industries?
Who'll handle your commerce?
Who'll cure the sick?
Teach in your schools?
Or that man?
Or the other?
Civilization is not a simple matter, José.
You cannot learn its secrets overnight.
Today civilization belongs
to the white man
and you must learn to use it.
Without it, you cannot go forward.
But to go where, lnglés?
Is better that you, too, go away.
SOLDIER: I need 10 more men
at the south barricade.
Pedro, you go with them. Hurry!
Fifteen armed men with me
to the main gate.
You can tell the whites I am going.
Say that my men will lay down their arms
and return to the plantations.
England will rejoice, lnglés.
Not only England, José.
Have I become so dangerous?
Even for your own people, José.
Well, I'm not now.
But you can tell the white men.
Tell your friends.
They're not my friends, José.
Well, no matter.
You tell them, "Be careful."
They may know how to sell sugar
but we are the ones who cut the cane!
No, thank you.
JOSE: Your bag, senhar?
A general doesn't carry baggage.
But he will for a friend.
All right, José. Come on.
José, what are you going
to do with yourself?
I don't suppose you ever heard
of a place called Indochina.
Well, they're sending me there.
Then, to Indochina.
To those who cut the cane.
Right. Or there'd be no sugar for your tea.
MALE NARRATOR: And since
no one in the world
wants to drink their tea without sugar,
business continued to prosper
for the world's leading sugar companies.
This is the London Stock Exchange.
10 years have passed.
The quotations of shares
in the sugar companies continue to rise.
The companies are merging, and with
the increase of their economic strength,
grow ever more powerful.
Thus, they are now able
to take personal charge
of law and order on their plantations.
Naturally, their first concern
is to procure for this job
the most efficient experts available.
We'll try here.
He was like another man.
Sir William Walker.
First, he left the navy.
And then, let's see...
Here we are.
On May 7,1841,
he was expelled from this club.
He broke our rules.
I told you, he was another man.
How very unfortunate.
Did he leave an address, perhaps?
Yes. 21 White Dock Street.
Most unsavory district, I must say.
Would you like to continue?
Sir William Walker?
Permit me. Henry Thompson.
This is Jack Martin.
- Nice to know you, sir.
You're a hard man to trace, Sir William.
We've been half way around Europe
just trying to find you.
That's rather flattering.
There are those who need you.
Well, I can assure you
that I don't need them.
What a pity.
There's a great deal of money in this
for you, sir.
What do you want?
We don't know, exactly.
JACK: But it seems that it has something
to do with the Antilles and sugarcane.
WALKER: Mr. President.
Well, we've known each other
for a long time, haven't we?
Roughly 10 years.
No, no, it's exactly 10 years, isn't it?
Ten years ago,
I worked for the British Admiralty.
I now work
for the Antilles Royal Sugar Company
which our ex-counsel
so ably represents today.
We've both since changed our employers.
However, the Admiralty
has given me its approval.
And so, I'm now here
in the capacity of military advisor
invited by the government of Queimada
and paid for
by the Antilles Royal Sugar Company
and authorized by
Her Majesty's government.
Let's hope that my advice
is worthy of so much trust.
General Prada has informed me
of the events of the last 10 years.
I now would like to summarize
the most important facts.
Ma y 13, 1e45,
José Dolores agrees to dissolve
the rebel arm y.
Queimada is proclaimed a republic
and Mr. Teddy Sanchez
is its first president.
March 7, 1847,
the Republic of Queimada cedes
to the Antilles Royal Sugar Company
the right of exploitation of the sugar
plantation for 99 years, renewable.
TEDDY: Why don't you mention
of the Royal Sugar Company
WALKER: Because, Mr. President,
that is not the most important
aspect of the problem.
SHELTON: And is it not important
that my company has already
built a hospital and 50 miles of road?
No, Mr. Shelton, but what is important
is that the Royal Sugar Company
controls, in practice,
the entire economy of Queimada
whilst the government of Queimada,
in practice, no longer controls anything.
You're forgetting, Sir William,
you were asked here to put down a revolt
and not to concern yourself
with our government's policies.
Yes, well, without these policies
there wouldn't be any revolution,
On February 23, 1848,
the sugarcane cutters enter the city,
set it afire
and sack the stores.
The army has to intervene.
32 dead and 100 wounded.
Other uprisings break out
in various parts of the island.
Jose' Dolores takes over the revolution
and organizes a new army
that wins some victories.
Three months later, England intervenes.
Now, what do you want me to do?
To deal with José Dolores.
Or to help us get rid of him.
Our government wants to negotiate,
And not because it is the only solution,
but because it is the best.
No one can do this better than you.
- You've already done it once.
- Ten years ago.
The situation is the same.
Yes, but the problem is different.
Ten years is a long time.
It can be a very long time.
Even so, it's still only 10 years.
No, I only want to explain, gentlemen,
that, very often,
between one historical period and another,
10 years certainly
might be enough to reveal
the contradictions of a whole century.
And so often we have to realize that
our judgments and our interpretations
and even our hopes may have been wrong.
Wrong, that's all.
Does that mean our interests
no longer coincide?
Yes, our interests do.
Royal Sugar pays me well enough.
And our ideas?
My ideas at the moment are concerned
with how to get something done,
not with why to do it.
All right, on what basis do I negotiate?
Equal rights for all citizens,
better wages, and a general amnesty.
Is that a good basis for discussion?
No, but I don't think
that you can offer more
unless you give up the government
and the plantations of Queimada.
I believe that you will succeed.
And that you believe it, too.
Right, Sir William?
Well, we must wait to see
what Jose Dolores believes.
(SOLDIER SPEAKING PORTUGUESE)
You, there. Wait!
What is it, senhar?
- That one. Bring him here.
- This one?
No, no, the fourth one.
I told you, the fourth one.
One, two, three, four, this one.
Put your hands down.
Well, at least you won't die today.
Does that make you happy, Martino?
You don't remember me, do you?
Well, that was a long time ago.
Martino! Hold your fire!
Martino, don't be a fool!
Hold your fire, we need him alive.
Now, José Dolores says
that if what we have in our country
civilization of white men,
then we are better uncivilized because
it is better to know where to go
and not know how
than it is to know how to go
and not know where.
- And then?
- And then, José Dolores says
that if a man works for another,
even if he's called a worker,
he remains a slave.
And it will always be the same.
Since there are those
who own the plantations
and those who own the machete
to cut cane for the owners.
- And then?
- And then, José Dolores says
that we must cut heads instead of cane.
- There's a tidy program.
Very well, then, tell José that
we must meet and discuss this question
wherever and whatever time he wishes.
Do you understand?
Martino, tell him that
I shall be pleased to see him in any case.
give this to José Dolores.
Tell him it's from me.
Why are you here? Why aren't you
in the Sierra Madre with the others?
Now we must realize, gentlemen,
that if we are to succeed
in eliminating Jose Dolores,
it's not because we're better than he is
or that we're braver than he is,
it's simply because we have more arms
and more men than he has.
And we must also realize that the soldier
either fights to earn his pay
or because his country
forces him to do so.
But the guerrilla, on the other hand,
fights for an idea.
And therefore he's able to produce
20, 30, 50 times as much.
Is that clear?
No, Sir William, I don't agree.
Well, I think it's
a rather simple calculation.
What does a guerrilla have to lose,
except his life?
Whereas you, General, have a lot to lose.
Wife, children, house, career, savings,
personal pleasures and private aspirations
and it's nothing to be ashamed of,
that's simply the way of it.
Now, according to your information,
José Dolores has less than 100 men,
few arms, very little ammunition,
and no equipment.
But you have thousands of soldiers
and modern arms and equipment.
And yet, in six years,
you've not been able to defeat him.
Because their bases are here
on the Sierra Madre.
And on the Sierra Madre,
there's no possibility of survival.
There's not a tree, not a blade of grass
and the only animals
are vipers and scorpions.
And yet, in the last six years
it is here that the guerrillas have made
You see, up here,
on the peaks of these mountains,
there are a handful of small villages.
Now, these people are destitute,
with subhuman living standards,
and they haven't anything to lose, either.
The guerrillas are their only hope.
Now, these villagers are the roots
on which the guerrillas survive.
They must be cut.
They came out from the fire, naked,
covered with flames, like devils.
This is where they've crossed the river,
in the marshes in the Sierra Trinidad.
Now they're here.
There are five villages in this area. Five.
Tomorrow we start again.
(SOLDIERS SPEAKING PORTUGUESE)
You well know that it is not we
who are responsible for this tragedy.
It is José Dolores who wanted this war.
But the government promises you
that the war will end soon.
Peace will come.
And order will again be established.
And you will be able to go back
to your houses and to your work.
Have faith a little longer.
We will do everything possible
to alleviate your suffering.
I beg you, my fellow citizens, listen to me.
Believe me. Trust us.
And now, bread will be distributed to you
offered personally by President Sanchez.
Stay in your places!
No! Don't shoot. Don't shoot!
General, I want you to take back
the effective command of our army.
From now on,
you will consult personally with me
on every decision concerning the war
and any possibility of peace.
And Sir William Walker?
He'll go back to England.
But the Royal Sugar Company,
The Royal Sugar was supposed
to help our independence, General,
and not the other way around.
There's always José Dolores.
If there hadn't been a Royal Sugar,
would there have been a Jose Dolores?
Who knows, General?
You wanted to talk to me?
Sir William Walker, in the name
of the Government of Queimada...
Mr. Teddy Sanchez,
in the name of the people of Queimada,
I declare you under arrest.
I think we've said all there is to say.
MAN: Citizens of Queimada,
the special military tribunal has decreed
that Ex-President Sanchez
is guilty of high treason.
Citizens, it is your duty to declare
your allegiance to the new government,
to our heroic arm y,
and to the soldiers of England
who have so generously come to our aid.
Citizens of Queimada,
the bandits of José Dolores
will be annihilated.
Peace will return to our beloved country.
Signed, Genera! Alfonso Prada,
head of the provisional government.
OFFICER: Battery two, fire!
Battery four, fire!
Battery three, fire!
Battery four, fire!
Battery one, fire!
SOLDIER: Keep your hands up!
What you got in that sack?
Empty it out now, come on.
Got any weapons?
You there, keep your hands up!
Let's have a look at this one.
WALKER: How many have you counted?
Sixteen, with this one.
I don't think there are anymore.
Must have been their rear guard.
Let's go down and have a look.
So there are no more plantations,
they're all burnt to the ground.
- They'll rise again.
- In 10 years, Sir William.
Well, you have another 89 years
to exploit them. Renewable.
Doesn't your contract specify that?
Your contract specifies
that you are to defend our interests.
Instead, you're destroying them.
Well, that's the logic of profit, isn't it,
my dear Shelton?
One builds to make money.
And to go on making it
or to make more,
sometimes it's necessary to destroy.
Yes, I think perhaps it's inevitable.
Then why didn't you say so before?
- Well, why didn't I say what?
- Where is it going to end?
As I told you,
with the end of José Dolores.
SHELTON: At this price,
it's no longer profitable.
It isn't you who pays, or even Royal Sugar.
Do you remember him?
There is Tin-Tin, too, one of the old ones.
But there is no Jose Dolores.
And you're sorry?
No. I wouldn't want to find him like this.
Well, you might have thought
of that before.
No, I say, as long as José Dolores lives,
I have work, and good pay.
Is it not the same for you?
No, on the contrary,
I work for an overall sum.
I must report to London.
Do that, Mr. Shelton.
I'll tell them how things are.
Yes, I hope so.
I'll have to inform them
that the island has been completely burnt
and José Dolores has once again
broken through the encirclement.
Tell them that, Mr. Shelton.
And tell them also that you make me sick.
Do you know why this island
is called Queimada?
Because it was already burnt once,
and do you know why?
Because even then, it was the only way
to conquer the resistance of the people
and after that, the Portuguese
exploited the island in peace
for nearly 300 years.
Yes, but I was merely trying...
You know that fire can't cross the sea
because it goes out.
But certain news,
certain ideas travel by ships' crews.
Have you any idea
how many islands there are
on which Royal Sugar has concessions?
You should know.
And have you the vaguest notion
of what would happen to our employers
if the example of Jose Dolores
reached those islands?
Mr. Shelton, I...
I don't know, I'm not
just quite sure what I'm doing here.
Money is important, but then,
my salary is small compared to yours.
Therefore, it's less important.
I'm also not sure just why I do
what I'm doing.
Perhaps it's only for the pleasure of it.
I'm unable to do anything else.
Perhaps I've nothing else to do, but I do
know that whenever I try to do something,
I try to do it well.
And to see it clearly
and through to the end.
Do you understand?
Bugler's here, sir.
Bugler, sound your cease-fire.
There, that's José Dolores.
At the bottom where the soldiers
are running. Do you see him?
A fine specimen, isn't he?
You know, it's an exemplary story.
In the beginning he was nothing.
A porter, a water carrier.
makes him a revolutionary leader
and when he no longer serves her,
he's put aside.
And when he rebels again,
more or less in the name of
those same ideals
which England's taught him,
England decides to eliminate him.
Don't you think
that's a small masterpiece?
And you're the author, Sir William.
No, only the instrument.
No, it is not true that
fire destroys everything.
A little life always remains.
Yet in the end, a blade of grass...
So how come the white invaders win?
How come they win in the end?
Someone of us will always remain.
Still others will be born later.
And others, too, will begin to understand.
In the end, you also will understand.
And the whites, in the end,
will be maddened by you.
Madder than a white beast becomes
when he finds he's closed in
and the mad beast'll run for the last time,
pursued and hunted all over the island
till he falls into one of the great fires
that he himself has made.
And the groans from this dying beast
will become our first cry of freedom.
One that will be heard far,
far beyond this island.
Come on, get ready, we're going back.
War is unavoidable, José.
Thanks to heaven
that you and I remained alive.
You know, it's inevitable
that someone has to lose.
In this case, it was inevitably you.
Otherwise, how could I have won?
I see that you've lost everything,
including power of speech.
Tie him up!
Oh, I see you actually
don't drink anymore, do you?
Are you sure you're not thirsty?
I'd think your throat would be dry
from all that talking all day.
I see no reason for you to walk.
You can remain silent even on horseback.
Soldier, give the prisoner your horse!
We must go, General.
What are you waiting for? Go and get him!
Now, listen to me, you black ape!
Listen to me.
It wasn't I that invented this war.
And furthermore, in this case,
I didn't even start it.
I arrived here and you were
already butchering one another.
But, anyway, sooner or later,
they are going to kill me.
Maybe not, General.
Maybe they will let you live.
If they let me live
it means it is convenient for them.
And if it's convenient for them,
it is convenient for me to die.
Because the hunter lets the hawk live
only when he wants a decoy
or to hunt in his place.
He's kept alive, but in a cage.
But then, after a while,
maybe they will free you.
No, little soldier.
It doesn't work like that, friend.
If a man gives you freedom,
it is not freedom.
Freedom is something you,
you alone, must take.
Do you understand?
Well, you will one day, because
you've already started to think about it.
Well, all that remains now
is to settle what to do with him.
Well, let's see,
we certainly can't use the garrote.
It's too reminiscent of Portugal.
Either we shoot him,
as we did Teddy Sanchez,
or we hang him as you do in England.
All things considered, hanging is better.
It's more solemn.
- More definite.
But you see the man that fights for an idea
is a hero.
And a hero who is killed becomes a martyr
and a martyr
immediately becomes a myth.
A myth is more dangerous than a man
because you can't kill a myth.
Don't you agree, Shelton?
I mean, think of his ghost
running through the Antilles.
Think of the legends and the songs.
Better songs than armies.
Better silence than songs.
And that is?
A hero that betrays is soon forgotten.
Well, we'll have to see
if he's willing to betray.
Well, now let's see,
against whom did Jose Dolores rebel?
Against Teddy Sanchez.
And you, General,
have eliminated Teddy Sanchez.
Now that... I think
that gives you a position in common.
See, there's the beginning of a rationale
which I think José Dolores
could make public
without too much shame.
Do you think he will do it?
Would you do it in his place?
Me? For God's sake, Sir William.
I would do anything to stay alive.
But, José Dolores...
You can't tell
what a man will do to stay alive.
Until you put him to the test,
you'll really never know.
Yes, as long as he leaves Queimada.
And the Antilles, General.
And the Antilles, Mr. Shelton.
Will you see to it?
I finished, General. This is your duty.
He started to laugh.
There'll be another martyr, Sir William.
But you, you were waiting for me?
I was going to bed.
I used every argument possible
and I offered him a great deal of money
and his freedom, of course.
Do you see, Paco? This is how they do it.
I'll take you outside the camp
and you can take my horse.
I'll see to it that they don't find out
until it's too late.
All right, come on.
You lose nothing, José.
You renounce nothing.
I ask nothing from you.
Only that you try not to be caught again.
Now, come on, you haven't much time.
My God, man, go! Your time's running out.
Come on, you're free!
José, you're free.
Free. Don't you understand?
What good does it do?
What meaning does it have, José?
Is it a revenge of some sort?
But what kind of revenge is it,
if you're dead?
I don't know, José!
It just seems madness.
Remember what you said?
Civilization belongs to whites.
But what civilization
and till when?
MAN: Your bag, senhar?