The day that Pier Paolo Pasolini was killed, Glauber Rocha decided to make this film about the life of Christ in the Third World. Starting from a dialectical synthesis between capitalism and socialism, and a search of interracial relationships in Brazil, Rocha created a work of religious and prophetic tone that results in a kind of bewilderment contemplative, now lyrical, now frantic, soaked in a new messianism. In his last film, the director proposed a tune of sounds and images that build a picture of Brazil and a portrait of himself.Written by
Glauber's brilliant last film. A work of a genius or of a madman?
This must be a work of a genius or a work of a madman who knows more than we poor mortals can possibly know. Glauber Rocha and his "A Idade da Terra" ("The Age of the Earth") is more than its images and words and speeches. It is a masterpiece from Brazil's cinema, an experimental film that challenges its viewers, gives something to think about and leaves wonderful moments in your head.
First of all, there's no plot although it has characters, figures, and actors performing them in repetitive monologues and in strange situations. The director explains to us that he wanted to make a film about Christ on a primitive world like Brazil, he conceived this idea after hearing about Pasolini's murder, guess he remembered some of his works. What we see is four Christs divided traveling through Brazil and spreading God's message to the desperate and hungry people of the third world, summoning all the people to a Third World revolution to help all the underprivileged people of Asia, Africa and Americas to get together and help each other. There's a Military Christ, a Black Christ, a Indian Christ and a Revolutionary Christ and they seem to fight against a diabolic figure named Brahms (Mauricio do Valle) that wants to rule the world. This is my view from the film, it might not be the same as yours, so feel free to watch a very philosophical and meaningful film.
In "A Idade da Terra" there's culture, religion, political speeches, the director's own voice and presence (on and off screen; on screen teaching an actor how to play his role; off screen you can hear his voice shouting at actors to speak their lines louder, one example is the famous moment where he shouts "Speak up Danuza" and his poetic perception of the world, explained in a long monologue explaining the film and the history of the world, very interesting). And what can be interesting too or not depending on your patience is that Glauber selected actors moments that are shown over and over again, some outtakes where the actors say the same lines multiple times (Tarcisio Meira and his lines about the destruction of the world).
The eternal revolutionary writer-director-producer Glauber Rocha makes important statements about the History of Brazil, a reminder that we should love and respect our country no matter what happens; and in each scene you can sense this pride, not only with words but in its images presenting a country beautifully filmed, very vivid. Sadly, this was his last film, he died in 1981, leaving an impressive filmography and being one of the greatest directors of all time, in Brazil and in the world. Once again he had a camera in the hand and an idea in the head (this is the slogan of the filmmakers of Cinema Novo "New Cinema" of which Glauber was his most expressive and important figure).
It's almost like watching a Godard film, there's a political message mixed with something that might be a plot and other things but in the end you get the whole picture and can make an idea of what it is and what it means. I must confess that I walked out of this film after ten minutes on my first view, it was just images without coherence I thought at the time, but something was keep calling me to watch it again and I did. Time makes you understand more of things and enjoy more experiences and this film is a memorable and positive experience. I know it's not for everyone, it's almost a impenetrable work but it has many things to show. See it if you can! 10/10
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