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Comments 1 - 9 of 9

AdGuzman's avatar


I kept thinking about Black God, White Devil but I couldn't gathered the right thoughts on it at first. For me discovering this film makes clearer the way Brazilian Cinema has become one of the most prolific and true to its own context cinemas in the world. I really believe that once an art manages to emancipate from the chains of the mainstream culture begins an honest art-form that is difficult to evade.

I must admit that I had to pause the film in order to get some of the terms used trying to get the most from it. I had issues with the ample of the religious themes, but being from México another country in Latin America that has its history re-written in clerical ink gives me the notion the manner in which catholicism has permeated the Latin American countries' culture, and how was set to control the mind and acts! of the oppressed.

The very first shots are overwhelming, we're being forced to grasp the world of the common folk, the amount of work to produce food for a day. To truly know these people's town through their quests, to learn about their struggle with corruption, fake prophets and their search for purpose, or simply a different life.

The narrative is quite beautiful put, like a modest parable presents the story of Manoel who after killing his dishonest boss leave his home with Rosa, in his search for peace and justice stumbles upon with two different forces, the first from the "realm of god", a leader who promises a land full of everything the sertão is lacking, but the cost to it includes acts of utter violence; the second one offering to fight the system but with no honor, both asking for blind obedience and servitude. In the middle is Rosa, the voice of reason that we rarely give the credit deserved. The arc of Manoel and Rosa ends just how it began with they leaving behind everything they know, everything we came to know, with nothing but uncertainty about their future. Perhaps that's the commentary Rocha is offering us, that in a putrid system it is no good to trust rigid and tyrannical figures, and sometimes that in which we attribute power is leaving us empty.

For me the cinematography felt as a part of the narrative, the overexposed takes are fascinating, the contrast between black and whites makes you feel the rawness of that arid space the characters are into.

Perhaps is not a film for everybody not because the author made the effort to distance its oeuvre for a 'type of moviegoers' conceivably it has more to do with how we're used to learn only about our own struggles without reaching beyond the familiar, if you choose to ignore the history of other countries and detach yourself from their struggle surely you'll find this film 'boring', I think is time to learn about each other and be sensible about it.
5 years 3 months ago
Dieguito's avatar


The cinematography is incredible, with some beautiful black and white contrasting scenes; the plot is intense, mixing poverty with religion, bandits, barons and love..
10 years 6 months ago
-1flb2-'s avatar


This movie is raw! So glad it was filmed in black and white. Great cinematography. Reminds me a little bit like 'Dead Man' by Jim Jarmusch's style, but this movie goes all the way. Really should watch this Brazilian movie.
5 years 11 months ago
demagogo's avatar


You know what? I'm gonna make a point here.

You guys live your whole lives being told you're free and whatnot. And now you can choose a stance before watching: (1) You expect some US-American audience-pleasing movie; (2) you act like it's a masterpiece, even though you internally got bored, or; (3) you don't understand and continue your life as it was 2 hours before.

Not pretending to sound like an asshole, but if you were bored to death watching this, it's highly probable that you are ignorant about the film and its subject. If you're gonna watch a Latin American film from the 60's, you just can't expect an Eurotrash trip into the overrated realms of despair, or an exposition of "breath-taking photography", or any aesthetical quality to which are driven films with a lesser urgent intention.

I ain't Brazilian, sure. But I can say that's ridiculous how similar has been history in every Latin American country (*cough* USA's fucking "foreign interests" *cough*). Let alone cinema. In that decade, the whole cinema here, and art in general, was characterized by showing how the common people lived and how we perceived the world through our own problems, more than imitating US-American/European narratives. So yea, mostly every "classical" Latin American film you'd gonna watch will be this dry and "alien," or they will be fucking second-hand US-American films starred by spics. You choose what to watch.

Also it's not like you gotta be a connoisseur of our history or art, but a fucking 20 minutes of reading in Wikipedia would enlighten the fuck up of +20 hours of movie-watching. Also, even if you wouldn't, it's still hard for me to understand how can anyone feel that a 4-hour Kurosawa lesson into unnecessary slow storytelling is brilliant, or a half-assed crime B-movie from Godard is revolutionary art-wise, and at the same time considering this movie to be utter shit for no good reason.

You can choose as well watching more complacent "Latin American" cinema and stick with Jodorowski, or Raoul Ruiz. But that's kinda expendable in our history and a lazy way out. Also, don't misunderstand me, I don't consider this to be the best film of all time (even though is cool af imo), and I love US-American cinema too.

I would have written the same thing perfectly in Memorias del subdesarrollo, La hora de los hornos, or even IMDb's Top 250 as well. Doesn't matter. Looks like a fucking joke when you guys cry over a film that doesn't fulfill Hollywood/ Eurotrash arthouse/ Kurosawa standards being on a couple of lists. As if someone was being forced into "obscure" Latin American cinema. Same goes when a "mafia" film pops up in IMDb's Top 250, as if the rest of the world wouldn't be sold the whole time that "US-American mafia" trash is quality cinema.

Also this very movie tells you the dude's not a cowboy, but a "cangaçeiro." A couple of minutes in Google Translate and Wikipedia and then you realize it has nothing to do with westerns. Also if you're into exploitation film, it gives you context for what the fuck is everyone doing in Bruce Lee vs Gay Power (Brazilian, too) lol.

Now my opinion: Buena película. Me gustó caleta que el uso de la música fuera como en el teatro popular: ahí uno puede decir que el director o es un inexperto culiao o hace deliberadamente esta weá que hace que algunos fomes se mojen en los pantalones que es "romper la cuarta muralla"; corta. Yo me inclino por que hasta en lo estético esta weá es un hoyúo a la "edición invisible" hollywoodense, cosa de ver cómo están hechas las tomas con harta gente, que muchas tomas son 100% atinadas a la hora de no confundir cómo contar la historia, alguna que otra composición (no hay taaanta, igual, al menos al principio), etc, etc. Yo creo que el uso de la música desesperaría a la clase de gente que pasa todo el día con los audífonos pegaos, así que más puntos a favor. El tema religioso me pateó un poco los cocos, pero se perdona spoiler.
6 years ago
Fitz of Fury's avatar

Fitz of Fury

with multi subs
4 years 5 months ago
pabloarriba's avatar


that is not a western
11 years 2 months ago
vedkasse's avatar


Probably the most boring film I've ever seen. Wanted to dig my eyes out with a spoon in the end.
9 years 2 months ago
mook's avatar


Brazilian quasi-Western drama with heavy religious overtones & narration by song... A strange struggle. 5/10.

Follow me on Twitter @LastFilmSeen
10 years 8 months ago
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