A Twelve-Year Night

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A Twelve-Year Night (La noche de doce años)
Theatrical release poster
Country Uruguay
Directed by Álvaro Brechner
Release Date 2018
Language Spanish
Distributor Life Films (Uruguay)

Saldavia Cinema (Spain)

Main Cast
Character Actor
José Mujica Antonio de la Torre
Mauricio Rosencof Chino Darín
Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro Alfonso Tort
Military Commander César Troncoso
Psychiatrist Soledad Villamil

A Twelve-Year Night (Spanish: La noche de 12 años) is a 2018 Uruguayan drama film directed by Álvaro Brechner. It premiered in Official Selection at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, and it was selected as the Uruguayan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.[4][5] The film won the Golden Pyramid Award at the 40th Cairo International Film Festival.

The film is about the 12-year incarceration of members of the Tupamaros, a left-wing urban guerrilla group active in the 1960s and 1970s, 9 of whom were held as "hostages" between 1972 and 1985.

As a result, several characters are dramatizations of real people. Among them, José Mujica who became the 40th President of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015.

The following weapons were used in the film A Twelve-Year Night:



Colt M1911A1

The Colt M1911A1 is used by both Uruguayan soldiers and Tupamaro freedom fighters.

The M1911A1 was adopted by the Uruguayan Armed Forces in the 1960s and remained in service until it was replaced by the Glock 17.

Judging by their finish and barrel markings, the models used in the film could be Argentine-licensed DGFM Sistema Colt Modelo Argentino 1927 stand-ins, although it is difficult to notice.

World War II Colt M1911A1 - .45 ACP. This was an issued U.S. Army pistol with parkerized finish, thus the official designation of M1911A1
Colt Modelo Argentino 1927 - .45 ACP
The Military Commander (César Troncoso) aiming his M1911A1 in a close-up.
The Military Commander (César Troncoso) fires his M1911A1 at Uruguayan journalist and notary Luis Martinera.
The Military Commander (César Troncoso) aiming his M1911A1 at a blood stain on the ceiling, where wounded Tupamaros are hiding.
The Military Commander (César Troncoso) aiming his M1911A1 intently.
Mujica about to draw his M1911A1 when a tira (plainclothes secret police) starts asking for ID.
Mujica returns fire at Montevideo Police.
A Tupamaro fighter wielding an M1911A1.

Beretta 92 Inox

During a Christmas holiday asado (Uruguayan and Argentinian BBQ), Uruguayan soldiers are seen celebrating, and one shoots skyward with a Beretta 92 Inox. It is highly unlikely that a soldier carried this particular handgun back then, as the Beretta 92 has never been standard-issue in the Uruguayan Armed Forces.

Beretta 92FS Inox (flip side) - 9x19mm.
A Uruguayan soldier celebrates by shooting his Beretta 92 Inox.


DGFM HP-35 pistols (Browning Hi-Power pistols built under license by Dirección General de Fabricaciones Militares of Argentina) are seen in the Tupamaro hideout next to some M1 carbines.

In 1979, the Uruguayan Armed Forces acquired the 9mm DGFM HP-35 from Argentina. It is currently being phased out in favor of the Glock 17.

DGFM Hi-Power - 9x19 mm.
DGFM HP-35s lying next to some M1 carbines.
DGFM HP-35s lying next to some M1 carbines.


M1917 Revolver (Smith & Wesson)

Uruguayan Montevideo Police carry Smith & Wesson M1917 revolvers as their standard-issue firearm.

Smith & Wesson M1917 Revolver (Military issue with lanyard ring) - .45 ACP. Note the ejector-rod socket, common of a S&W revolver. Also note the S&W style cylinder release latch and half-moon front sight. These are the most easily distinguishable external differences between the Colt and S&W versions.
Montevideo Police Officer aiming his Smith & Wesson M1917 at a young José Mujica.
Montevideo Police Officer walking slowly towards the severely-wounded Mujica.
Montevideo Police Officer fires at Mujica.
Close up of the Smith & Wesson M1917.
Yvette clutches a S&W M1917 that was planted on her after being shot dead, in order to justify the massacre.

Submachine Guns


The IMI UZI is used by Uruguayan soldiers. Soldiers in the film mostly use them with the buttstock extended. Historically, the UZI was used and smuggled by Tupamaros from Uruguay into Brazil, in solidarity to help Brazilian rebels in Porto Alegre. It was seen as a weapon of choice for guerilla fighters due to how easily-concealed it was.

The UZI is still in use in the Uruguayan Armed Forces, in the full-sized UZI, Mini UZI and Micro UZI variants. It is used in small numbers in the Air Force, by helicopter crews destined in Congo and Eritrea, and also by the Navy, together with SECRON (Reconnaissance Section).

IMI Uzi with buttstock extended - 9x19mm
Uruguayan soldiers in a military truck escorting prisoners and wielding their UZIs.
Uruguayan soldiers in a military truck escorting prisoners and wielding their UZIs.
Uruguayan soldiers conducting a raid on the house of journalist and notary Luis Martinera, armed with UZIs and FMAP FALs.
The soldiers take advantage of the compact UZIs in a CQB environment, during the raid on Martinera's home.
Luis Martinera, Uruguayan journalist and notary, killed in his own home during the raid, clutching an UZI that was planted on him after his death to justify the massacre.
Uruguayan soldier (Agustín Pérez) aiming his UZI at the ceiling, suspecting Tupamaros hiding there.
The soldier draws his UZI, suspecting Tupamaros hiding in the ceiling.
The soldier carefully aiming his UZI at the ceiling.
The soldier returns to the Military Commander wielding his UZI, to inform on the suspected Tupamaros hiding.
A soldier stands guard with his UZI, as military intelligence officers fabricate and plant false evidence to justify the killings and arrests.

STAR Z-62/Z-63/Z-70

The STAR Model Z-62 submachine gun (developed by the Spanish arms manufacturer STAR Bonifacio Echeverría S.A. in 1962), is used by both Uruguayan soldiers and Tupamaro freedom fighters.

The Star Model Z-63 and Z-70 variants were adopted by the Police and the Armed Forces of Uruguay, including the National Army of Uruguay and the Uruguayan Naval Prefecture. They are still currently in service, even among Army battalions.

Without a good look at the receiver or trigger, it is difficult to tell which variant is being used at any given time, since the STAR Z-62 variants differ mostly in internal mechanisms, with minor external changes.

Star Z-62 - 9x23mm Largo
Uruguayan soldiers prepare to enter the station, armed with STAR Z-62s.
Uruguayan soldiers with Z-62s
A Tupamaro fighter reaches for his Z-62.
A Tupamaro fighter readies his Z-62, unwilling to go out without a fight.
After the dictatorship is toppled peacefully and democratically, soldiers release the political prisoners. A Uruguayan soldier contemplates the scene, wielding his STAR Z-62.
A Uruguayan soldier wielding a STAR Z-62 as prisoners are released and returned to their families.


M1 Carbine

The US M1 carbine is used by the Tupamaro freedom fighters. The ones in the film appear to be post-WWII models, as can be easily noticed by their bayonet lugs.

More than 7,000 M1 carbines were acquired by Uruguay from 1942 until 1976, through an agreement with a United States military equipment supply system. In the Uruguayan Armed Forces, the M1 carbine was used in conjunction with the M1 Garand, as the official service rifle since the 1950s and well into the 1990s, when it was fully phased out by the FMAP FAL. It is currently in reserve, still in use for National Army recruit training, although 6,000 stockpiled M1 carbines were to be returned to the United States as of 2007.

M1 carbine (Post-War) - .30 Carbine
M1 carbines lying next to some HP-35s.
M1 carbines lying next to some HP-35s.
M1 carbine seen in the background to the right. To the left, the flag of the Tupamaro revolutionaries can be see.
Huidobro holds his M1 carbine during the raid, being shot at by soldiers.
Huidobro's M1 carbine, lying upside down after he is wounded in the raid.

Assault Rifles


The Argentine version of the FN FAL, known as the FMAP FAL ("Fábrica Militar de Armas Portátiles" FAL) or FM FAL Standard, made under license by Dirección General de Fabricaciones Militares (DGFM), is used exclusively by Uruguayan soldiers in the film.

The Uruguayan Armed Forces began phasing out the old M1 Garand and M1 Carbines in favor of the FAL, which was adopted in the 1950s and used well into 2008, when it began being phased out by the Steyr AUG A2 and AK-101/102. The Uruguayan military has always used Argentine-made FALs.

Argentine DGFM FMAP-FAL - 7.62x51mm NATO
Uruguayan soldier with his FMAP FAL shoulder-slung, pushing Mauricio "El Ruso" ("The Russian") Rosencof to see his family during a prison visit.
Corporal "Sapito" (Lisandro Fiks) with his FMAP FAL shoulder-slung.
Uruguayan soldier with his FMAP FAL shoulder-slung.
Uruguayan soldiers inside a military truck, holding their FMAP FALs.
Uruguayan soldiers with FMAP FALs and IMI UZIs, conducting a raid on a Tupamaro hideout.
Uruguayan soldiers aiming their FMAP FALs as they prepare to storm the Tupamaro hideout.
Close-up of a FMAP FAL during the raid. An UZI can be seen in the background.
Uruguayan soldiers aim their FMAP FALs and UZIs during the raid.
Uruguayan soldiers firing his FAMP FAL during the raid.
Uruguayan soldier wielding a FMAP FAL.
Close-up of the FMAP FAL barrel.
Uruguayan soldiers armed with FMAP FALs, escorting Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro.
Uruguayan soldiers armed with FMAP FALs, guarding the Penal de Libertad prison.
Uruguayan soldiers stand at attention with their FMAP FALs.


M16A1s can be seen during news footage clips of the Vietnam War.

M16A1 with 20 round magazine - 5.56x45mm
US soldier hurrying to a Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter, with his M16A1 shoulder-slung.
ARVN Vietnamese soldier, carrying an M16A1.

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