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Black God, White Devil (1964)

Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (original title)
Fictionalized account of the adventures of hired gunman Antonio das Mortes, set against the real life last days of rural banditism. The movie follows Antonio as he witnesses the descent of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Geraldo Del Rey ...
Manuel
Yoná Magalhães ...
Rosa
Othon Bastos ...
Maurício do Valle ...
Lidio Silva ...
Sebastião
Sonia Dos Humildes ...
João Gama ...
Priest
Antônio Pinto ...
Colonel
Milton Rosa ...
Moraes (as Milton Roda)
Roque Santos ...
(as Roque)
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Storyline

Fictionalized account of the adventures of hired gunman Antonio das Mortes, set against the real life last days of rural banditism. The movie follows Antonio as he witnesses the descent of common rural worker Manuel into a life of crime, joining the gang of Antonio's sworn enemy, Corisco the Blond Devil (Othon Bastos), and the Pedra Bonita Massacre. Written by Cristian Redferne <Harlock@prodigy.com>

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10 July 1964 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Black God, White Devil  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Corisco: Here's my rifle to save the poor from starving.
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Connections

Referenced in Cinema Falado (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

A Procura
Written by Glauber Rocha & Sérgio Ricardo
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User Reviews

 
One more for the bandwagon
6 December 2008 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Like Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, Deus e O Diabo Na Terra Do Sol, (translated: God and the Devil in Land of Sun) doesn't bother mincing words when addressing what's wrong with the world. As Communism swept through South America and Cuba in the 50's and 60's, Socialist film-making enjoyed its greatest hey dey and, amongst those films, DeODNTDS is remembered as one of the best. Whereas films like Mikhail Kalatozov's I Am Cuba were unabashed agents of propaganda, bashing Capitalism with a hammer-like heavy hand, Glauber Rocha's efforts were hidden behind the symbolism of one man's Chaucer-esque journey into an unknown fate.

The journey is Manuel's, an impoverished farmer who is radicalized after killing his boss who (like evil capitalists do) attempted to cheat Manuel of his wages. Manuel then finds God, in the form of a self-proclaimed Saint named Sebastian. Before long, Sebastian's blood thirsty spell over Manuel is broken by Rosa, Manuel's dutiful (and long-suffering) wife. But soon after they're free from Sebastian's grip, Manuel is seduced by the charms of a charismatic and similarly blood thirsty bandit named Corisco. Such is the way with Manuel, doomed to follow, and it is this theme that strangles the life out of Rocha's film.

DeODNTDS is a scathing indictment of not only capitalism, but also of religion and society as a whole. In this world, man is desperately out of balance with nature (and thus himself), wishing (and prophesying) for the land to turn to sea and the sea to turn to land. These fruitless dreams are a constant reminder that man must look inward, to find strength from his own heart and hands. The message is unmistakable, as stark as the black and white imagery Rocha bombards us with, but the trouble with DeODNTDS is that it makes it's point early on is compelled to repeat it over and over again, not unlike a mantra.The inevitable fate of Manuel is set up mid-way through the first act, when bounty hunter Antonio das Mortes is hired by church and city officials to kill Saint Sebastian and put an end to his proletariat uprising (which threatens the establishment aka the money making machine). But das Mortes' hunt is sidetracked and ultimately stalled to such a degree that by the time he and Manuel come face to face, no real stakes remain. In the process of pitting these two against one another, Rocha's film gets bogged down in dogmatic digressions that drag out for what feels like an eternity. By the time the credits roll, the momentum of the powerful first act is lost, and instead of challenging its audience's socio-political allegiances, Deus eO Diablo Na Terra Do Sol merely challenges you to stay awake.


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