Antonio das Mortes

Glauber Rocha's color sequel to Black God White Devil deals with the coming to political consciousness of the mercenary “jagunco” Antonio das Mortes, “matador of cangacieros,” paid killer of rebels and bandits in the backlands. Even more stylized and operatic than Black God, Antonio das Mortes is as much revolutionary cultural expression as a political allegory. In its flamboyant transformation of native folk-art and mystical traditions it is a highly original assertion of cultural values long suppressed: Its “tropicalist” style reflected newly formulated aesthetic principles in the Cinema Novo movement which never had a chance to flourish beyond the experiments in Third World humor and Afro-Brazilian animism in Macunaima. The Cinema Novo movement was derailed by censorship and repression in Brazil.

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