Tent of Miracles
(Tenda dos milagres)
Richard Peña is a professor of film studies at Columbia University; he was the program director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the director of the New York Film Festival from 1988 through 2012.
Hugo Carvana, Sonia Dias, Anecy Rocha, Wilson Jorge Mello,
Citizen Kane doused with caipirinha and given a carnival spin, dos Santos’s delightfully ribald tribute to the many cultures and races of Bahian society adapts the novel by famed author Jorge Amado. Framed as a film-within-a-film rediscovery of the secret life of a cultural figure, Tent of Miracles follows one Pedro Archanjo, an Afro-Brazilian medical school worker/musician/dancer/drinker/lover who became a radical anthropologist dedicated to the customs, folk tales, and beliefs of the beloved mixed-race outsiders all around him (and to miscegenation, both theory and practice). Like Archanjo, dos Santos produces a text against classism and racism, and looks toward what Brazil can be.