Based on the true story of the tragic war of Canudos in the late 1890's. The newly born Republic has brought nothing but oppression and discomfort to the poor people of the rural areas of northeastern Brazil. The separation of church and state and the imposition of abusive taxes, among other measures, made this people think that the Republic was the Anti-Christ. Guided by a religious leader, Antonio "Conselheiro" (Counselor) a group of countrymen established a community where the Republic rules wouldn't bother them. But the Republic sent the Brazilian Army to destroy the settlement, starting the bloodiest war ever fought in Brazil. Written by
Pedro Mir Mesejo <email@example.com>
In the country of Bahia about 1860, a man called Antônio Vicente Mendes Maciel, known by the nickname of Antônio Conselheiro (note.: 'conselheiro' in Portuguese means 'advisor') drifts through the remote rural interior of Brazil (called 'sertão brasileiro'), building churches, restoring cemeteries and collecting followers, with the opposition of the Catholic Church and the Brazilian elite. He claims to be one apostle, and his legion is composed by miserable illiterate simple persons. In 1889, Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca proclaims the Republic of Brazil and Antônio Conselheiro blames the republic for the misery of the forgotten 'sertão brasileiro'. In 1892, Antônio Conselheiro founds the monarchic 'Império do Belo Monte' in Canudos, with 20,000 followers, having an independent government with their own laws and moral values. The Federal Government feels threatened and sends a first expedition to fight in Canudos, being the federal troops defeated. A second expedition is sent and also defeated. A third expedition, commanded by Colonel Moreira Cesar, o Corta-Pescoços ('cut-necks') is also defeated. The fourth and last expedition, commanded by General Artur Oscar, is sent with 6,000 soldiers first plus 4,000 replacement and finally kills all the followers of Antonio Conselheiro. Antonio Conselheiro dies on September, 22nd 1897 and the 'Império do Belo Monte' finally falls on October, 5th 1897. After one year of war, 20,000 followers of Antônio Conselheiro and 5,000 soldiers die in these battles and in accordance with Brazilian writer Euclides da Cunha in his book 'Os Sertões', Canudos was the unique war with no survivors, their inhabitants never surrender and resisted until the fall of the last man. In the final moment of the battle, two men, a boy and an old man were the last survivors and were still fighting against the armed troop.
'Guerra de Canudos' is an epic and dramatizes a historic event through the drama of a rural family composed by Zé Lucena (Paulo Betti), Penha (Marieta Severo), the older daughter Luiza (Cláudia Abreu) and their younger son and daughter. Antônio Conselheiro is performed by the excellent actor, director and cinema critic José Wilker. The songs were composed by Edu Lobo, and there are 5,000 figurants. Paulo Betti was born in São Paulo and Cláudia Abreu and Marieta Severo are from Rio de Janeiro and they have special training to speak using the expressions and accent of people from the northeastern of Brazil (Bahia). 'Guerra de Canudos' is a worthwhile entertainment for viewers who want to learn a little of history of Brazil. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): 'Guerra de Canudos' ('War of Canudos')
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