Xica da Silva (1976)

 |  Drama  |  10 September 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 372 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 2 critic

The romanced story of Xica da Silva, a slave that used her "feminine atributs" in order to get power.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zezé Motta ...
Walmor Chagas ...
Comendador João Fernandes
Altair Lima ...
Elke Maravilha ...
Stepan Nercessian ...
Rodolfo Arena ...
José Wilker ...
The Count of Valadares
Marcus Vinícius ...
João Felicio dos Santos ...
Dara Kocy ...
Adalberto Silva ...
Julio Mackenzie ...
Beto Leão ...
Luis Motta ...
Paulo Padilha ...


In the 18th century, in Minas Gerais, the Portuguese mined diamonds and gold. João Fernandes de Oliveira arrives from Lisbon with the Crown's exclusive contract for mining diamonds. He quickly asserts control, letting the intendant and other authorities know that he's onto their corruption. Xica, a slave of the local sergeant-major and possessed of phenomenal sexual drive and tricks that cause men to howl with pleasure, quickly captures João. He denies her no extravagance; miners die for his greed. Eventually Lisbon hears of João's excesses and sends an inspector. José, a political radical, provides Xica refuge; her unrelenting sexual tingle is Brazil's spirit. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »







Release Date:

10 September 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Xica  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Cinema Falado (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Like the diamonds excavated in the town of "Xica," this movie is a gem!

"Xica da Silva" is the story of a true-life 18th century slave who uses her sexual wiles and cunning mind to become the richest and most powerful woman of her time in a diamond-mining town of Brazil. Xica's successful position is unheard of for a woman, much less a slave and she becomes a legend, especially among the slaves.

When Xica sees João Fernandes (actor Walter Chagmor), the rich, influential and handsome emissary of the King of Portugal. She sets her sights on meeting the most potent man in the town. The man becomes enamored with her and she with him.

To the townspeople's dismay, João sets Xica free, and then showers her with opulent gifts. He builds Xica a mansion complete with its own chapel because slaves, free or not, are forbidden from entering the town church; João orders luxurious items from Paris, Portugal and other fashionable places for Xica; he commissions a picture of the sea to be painted because she has always wanted to look at the sea; João even brings the ocean to Xica when he has a manmade lake constructed and a ship built for Xica's sole purpose.

The actress who plays Xica (Zezé Motta) is superb! Motta's acting allows the viewer to see and understand how the slave is able to captivate any man. When Xica gets that special tingle, no man can resist her! She is colorful, vivacious and very dramatic -- a true diva!

On a note of interest, the storyline has also been made into a 1996 Brazilian telenovela (soap opera), which has become popular in many other countries. Zezé Motta plays two roles in the telenovela -- that of Xica's mother and then an older Xica.

You'll also enjoy the catchy theme song and sing it to yourself long after the movie is over.

Directed by Carlos Diegues, a veteran filmmaker who is also responsible for other entertaining movies, "Xica da Silva" is witty and vibrant.

What an amusing and captivating way to tell the story of one slave's rise to fame, fortune and power and her fight to retain that prestige.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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