Inspired by “Romanceiro da Inconfidência,” a 1953 poem by Brazilian modernist writer Cecília Meireles, The Conspirators sets its scene at the end of the 18th century, in the days of the “Inconfidência Mineira”—an unsuccessful separatist movement in which a group of Brazilian revolutionists attempted to break free of Portuguese rule. Andrade focuses on the figure of Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, aka Tiradentes (José Wilker), one of the architects of the coup who was executed for his failure to bow to the Portuguese crown, in death becoming a martyr for the cause of Brazilian independence. Filmed and released in a nation under the heel of military dictatorship, The Conspirators suggests a clear parallel between the struggles of yesterday and today—a message that wasn’t lost on the irked regime.