The Burning Season (1994 film)

The Burning Season is a 1994 television movie directed by John Frankenheimer. The film chronicles Chico Mendes' fight to protect the rainforest. This was Raul Julia's last film released during his lifetime, premiering five weeks before his death. The movie was based in part on the 1990 book of the same name by journalist Andrew Revkin.

The Burning Season
Based onThe Burning Season
by Andrew Revkin
Screenplay byWilliam Mastrosimone
Michael Tolkin
Ron Hutchinson
Story byWilliam Mastrosimone
Directed byJohn Frankenheimer
StarringRaul Julia
Carmen Argenziano
Sonia Braga
Kamala Lopez-Dawson
Luis Guzmán
Edward James Olmos
Music byGary Chang
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)David Puttnam
Producer(s)John Frankenheimer
Thomas M. Hammel
Grazia Rade
Grazka Taylor
Diane Batson-Smith (co-producer)
Production location(s)Mexico
CinematographyJohn R. Leonetti
Editor(s)Paul Rubell
Running time123 minutes
Production company(s)HBO Pictures
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkHBO
Original releaseSeptember 16, 1994 (1994-09-16)


Chico Mendes was a Brazilian rubber tapper, unionist and environmental activist who was murdered in 1988 by ranchers opposed to his activism. The movie opens in 1951 with a young Chico Mendes witnessing his father's interaction with corrupt ranchers who are exploiting peasants for their work. The bulk of the film then takes place between 1983 and 1988, showing Mendes' activism to preserve the Amazon rainforest, to his murder in a drive-by shooting by a disgruntled rancher.


Awards and nominations

American Cinema Editors

  • Nominated: Best Edited Motion Picture for Non-Commercial Television (Françoise Bonnot and Paul Rubell)

Casting Society of America

  • Nominated: Best Casting for TV Movie of the Week (Junie Lowry-Johnson)

Emmy Awards

Golden Globe Awards

Screen Actors Guild Awards

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