Sir William Walker, a professional mercenary, is sent by the British to Queimada, a Caribbean island. Walker must instigate a slavery rebellion to break the Portuguese colonial sugar monopoly and manipulates an enslaved African, Jose Dolores to be the revolt leader. After damaging the sugar industry, Walker’s mission is completed.
Ten years later Walker is send back to destroy the rebellion he manufactured himself, now damaging the British sugar interest. He is facing Dolores again, the rebel leader he once created.
Like The Battle of Algiers (1966) Pontecorvo addresses third-world politics in Queimada (or Burn!), again with a script heavily influenced by Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. This time narrated as an adventure film and a colonial allegory and extended with neo-imperialist politics. A prophetic film that allegorised the fate of many former colonies in the Caribbean and in Africa.