7.1/10
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22 user 36 critic

Madame Satã (2002)

Loose portrait of João Francisco dos Santos, also known as Madame Satã, a sometime chef, transvestite, lover, father, hero and convict from Rio de Janeiro.

Director:

(as Karim Ainouz)

Writers:

(as Karim Ainouz), | 2 more credits »
23 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
João Francisco dos Santos / Madame Satã
...
Laurita
Flavio Bauraqui ...
Tabu
Fellipe Marques ...
Renatinho
Renata Sorrah ...
Emiliano Queiroz ...
Amador
Giovana Barbosa ...
Firmina
Ricardo Blat ...
José
Guilherme Piva ...
Álvaro
Marcelo Valle ...
Delegado
Floriano Peixoto ...
Gregório
Gero Camilo ...
Agapito
Gláucio Gomes ...
Gordo no Danúbio (Fat man)
Orã Figueiredo ...
Policial
Karine Teles
Edit

Storyline

A story inspired by the life of one of the most remarkable figures in Brazilian popular culture, João Francisco dos Santos (1900-1976). In turn, bandit, transvestite, street fighter, brothel cook, convict and father to seven adopted children, dos Santos--better known as Madame Satã--was also a notorious gay performer who pushed social boundaries in a volatile time. The story begins in 1932, in Rio de Janeiro's bohemian Lapa district, when João Francisco is about to achieve his dream: becoming a stage star. In the sordid yet lively world of Lapa--populated by pimps, prostitutes and other denizens of Rio's underworld--João battles the streets and presides over a surrogate family that includes the charming prostitute Laurita, and her baby daughter whom everyone dotes on; the flamboyant hustler Taboo; João's teenage lover, Renatinho; and Amador, the owner of the Blue Danube club which is their second home. It is at the Blue Danube that street tough João begins to sing, and the mythic drag... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

8 November 2002 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Мадам Сата  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$34,969 (Brazil) (22 November 2002)

Gross:

$198,181 (USA) (12 December 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente) |

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Directorial debut of Karim Aïnouz. See more »

Crazy Credits

The names of the major characters and the performers portraying them and the roles and names of the major contributors (director, etc) are shown in gold and red sequins respectively, interspersed with scenes of Madame Sata performing. Once the credits reach the minor performers and contributors the credits revert to a standard scrolling format, albeit with an unusual font, on a red/ black background. See more »

Connections

References A Rainha Diaba (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Carioca
Written by Edward Eliscu, Gus Kahn and Vincent Youmans
Performed by Xavier Cugat and his orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Femme fatale
27 December 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"Madame Sata" is a movie that depicts a bygone era. This colorful film directed by Karim Ainouz concentrates on the life of a charismatic man who lived an interesting life. We are taken to the Rio of the 1930s to witness the night life that flourished in the bohemian Lapa neighborhood, with its many dives and night clubs where all kinds of people mixed together.

This is the story of Joao, a poor black man who is a homosexual living in a macho dominated society. The film opens as Joao is being processed because of a crime he committed. We watch his face in a close-up where an off camera voice is reading what he did, and then we are taken back to watch his life in flashbacks.

Joao, who is an assistant to a French third rate chanteuse, is seen backstage imitating the singer in his own way, which is much better than what that tired woman does on stage. Joao lives in a household that includes Laurita, a friendly prostitute, and Tabu, a gay man who loves dressing as a woman, even for house work.

This was the era where the movies glorify those larger than life women who inspired gays all over the world to imitate them. Joao feels the attraction and after losing Renatinho, he asks the friendly Amador, who owns a bar in the Lapa district to give him a chance to perform in the style of the great divas of the era. The result is an instant success because of the innate talent in Joao. Alas, tragedy strikes when a loud mouth drunk begins to insult Joao, who decides to take matters into his own hand with dire consequences. In real life, Joao was in and out of prisons all his life.

Lazaro Ramos does a fantastic job portraying this complex man who was ahead of his time. Mr. Ramos is the best excuse for watching this Brazilian film that shows that seedy side of a society condemned to live in poverty and need. Marcelia Cartaxo plays Laurita, a true friend, who stuck by Joao no matter how bad things got. Flavioi Bauraqui is another asset in the film appearing as Tabu, the other member of Joao's household. Fellipe Marques is perfect as Renatinho, the man who loved Joao.

"Madame Sata" offers a nostalgic look at the life in Rio during the 30s and it's based on the true story of the man who was made famous for his originality and contribution to a society that tried to keep him away from mixing with them. This is a great directing job by Karim Ainouz, who with the writer, Marcelo Gomes, takes the viewer to a magical ride to the exotic life of that long gone Brazil.


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