Nelson Pereira dos Santos

  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos – Tenda dos Milagres AKA Tent of Miracles (1977)

    The life of Pedro Arcanjo, self-taught mestizo intellectual who in the first decades of the XXth century challenged racist ideas of the School of Medicine of Bahia and highlighted the importance of the blacks’ contribution to Brazilian culture.Read More »

  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos – Vidas Secas aka Barren Lives [+Extras] (1963)

    A poor family in the Northeast of Brazil (Fabiano, the father; Sinhá Vitória, the mother; their 2 children and a dog called Baleia) wander about the barren land searching for a better place to live, with food and work. But the drought and misery destroy their hopes.Read More »

  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos – Raízes do Brasil: Uma Cinebiografia de Sérgio Buarque de Holanda AKA The Roots of Brazil (2003)

    Cinebiography of celebrated historian Sérgio Buarque de Hollanda, who wrote the seminal “Raízes do Brasil” in 1935, with interviews with his large family (including his widow and his seven children, among them famous composer/singer/writer Chico Buarque and singer Miúcha) and scholar friend Antonio Candido.Read More »

  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos – Boca de Ouro AKA The Golden Mouth [+Extras] (1963)

    When powerful outlaw “Boca de Ouro” dies, a reporter interviews his former lover Guigui, to try to outline his personality. But the woman offers him three different versions of the facts, following the changes of her own personal feelings towards the man.

    Nelson Rodrigues’ Rashomon-lite gangster melodrama gets a purposive physical rendering on the hands of Nelson Pereira dos Santos. The filmmaker always described this as gun for hire work, but it is one of his most dramatic exact films and the cast is terrific. (Filipe Furtado)Read More »

  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos – O Amuleto de Ogum aka The Amulet of Ogum [+Extras] (1974)

    Ogum is one of the deities of Brazil’s many voodoo-related folk religions. This story is narrated by an ubiquitous folk singer and tells of a young boy whose mother arranges for him to have an amulet bearing Ogum’s blessings which would make him immune to gunfire. The amulet apparently works, for the boy becomes a member of a mobster’s hit-team and then joins with a group of people who resist his original employers.Read More »

  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos – Rio Quarenta Graus aka Rio 40ºC (1955)


    “As important to Latin American cinema as Godard’s A bout de souffle was to European film” (Toronto I.F.F.), Nelson Pereira dos Santos’s down-and-dirty, samba-fuelled Rio, 40 Degrees was one of the first Brazilian features to realistically, sensitively, sympathetically depict the plight of Brazil’s impoverished black population. The film follows five different peanut vendors from the slums as they make their way on a hot summer’s day through five different regions of Rio: Copacabana, Sugar Loaf, Corcovado, Quinta da Boa Vista, and Maraca†a. The beneficent influence of neorealism is apparent in the film’s admirable use of location shooting and non-professional actors; its engaging slice-of-life cross-section of Brazilian society and social class is set to a lively pop music score. Banned by Rio’s Chief of Police for it depiction of “marginal elements,” Rio, 40 Degrees was only released after a loud campaign by artists and intellectuals — becoming the first cause celebre of Brazil’s Cinema Novo. “A mix of comedy, drama and melodrama, dos Santos has fashioned an enduring landmark, a film that still retains its freshness and original vitality”Read More »

  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos – Como Era Gostoso o Meu Frances AKA How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman [+Extras] (1971)


    One of the best movies of the Brazilian Cinema Novo movement, as well as a key work by that movement’s greatest auteur, How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman has been a favorite of film scholars since its 1971 release, when it was banned in its home country and rejected by the Cannes Film Festival for its “excessive nudity.” Outside of film schools and cinematheques, however, this subversive satire has been relatively inaccessible in America, a situation that the indispensable New Yorker Video label has finally rectified with their DVD release of the film. Director Nelson Pereira dos Santos sets his outrageous comedy about cultural misunderstandings in the 16th century, but his gifts as a cinematic storyteller allow the movie to resonate with modern audiences as though it was set—and produced—yesterday.Read More »

  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos – A Terceira Margem do Rio AKA The Third Bank of the River (1994)

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    From the book “Brazilian Cinema” – Edited by Randal Johnson and Robert Stam:

    “The Third Bank of the River” is a coproduction (French and Brazilian) and, like the Guerra film, it too ingeniously interweaves diverses stories by its source author. Beginning with the story that provides the title for the film – the virtually wordless drama of a man who abandons his family to live on a boat in the middle of the river – Nelson Pereira dos Santos integrates four other stories. Liojorge (Ilya São Paulo) the son (in Nelson’s re-creation) of the enigmatic boatman of the first story, follows an enchanted cow and thus becomes the protagonist of another story (“Seqüência”) in which the cow leads him to the most beautiful woman in the world (Sonja Saurin).Read More »

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