Black God, White Devil and Cinema Novo

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Hemanoel M. Sousa e Silva Professor Dr. David Annandale Film 1310 09 October 2012 Black God, White Devil and Cinema Novo In the mid-1950s, the Brazilian cinema industry went into crisis, due to the bankruptcy of major studios from São Paulo. Under these conditions, a group of young filmmakers, influenced mainly by Italian neo-realism, aspired to revolutionize the way films were made in Brazil. They rejected the big budgeted and alienating productions and wanted films that would reflect the Brazilian reality, movies that were able to raise and discuss issues related to the social reality of that time: In Brazil, an upsurge of nationalism occurred at about the same time as the Cuban Revolution. In response, a cooperative formed by Glauber Rocha, Nelson Pereira dos Santos (Barren Lives, 1963) and Ruy Guerra (The Guns, 1964) produced what they called Cinema Novo [New Cinema] (Wexman 379). Glauber Rocha was one of the greatest exponents of the Cinema Novo with his 1964 movie - Black God, White Devil. Therein, the filmmaker explores what he called aesthetics of hunger, which is the translation of a specific reality, like the misery and violence to which most of the Brazilian population is subjected to, through images that try to cause discomfort: In the early 1960s, Glauber Rocha summarized the concerns of the initial phase of Cinema Novo in his Fanonian-inspired manifesto, ‘An Aesthetic of Hunger’, also known as ‘An Aesthetic of Violence. In this manifesto he wrote: …hunger in Latin America is not simply an alarming symptom; it is the essence of our society. Herein lies the tragic originality of Cinema Novo in relation to world cinema. Our originality is our hunger and our greatest misery is that this hunger is felt but not intellectually understood… Rocha is speaking not of real violence in a revolutionary situation, but rather

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