Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
It is an interesting fact that Generalissimo Francisco Franco did not relinquish even a tiny bit of his hold on the reins of power in Spain until he had quelled all that country's many separatist and terrorist groups to his satisfaction. It is also quite remarkable that, having done so, he readily passed the reins of government over to parliament and the king. Even so, his heavy-handed tactics in getting there, beginning with the Civil War itself, aroused tremendous criticism and worldwide concern. The 1975 trial, which took place in Burgos, of five men accused of terrorism was a part of that process. It was a worldwide cause celèbre at the time, and this movie loosely uses that story as its basis. However, not only does it not go into the rationales and defense for the activities of the men who were convicted of terrorism (and executed), but it even scants the prosecution's case. Politically knowledgeable reviewers were disappointed in the film, which serves better as a courtroom melodrama than as a recapitulation of history.