Beyond Cinema Novo, p. 2

from Jump Cut, no. 21, Nov. 1979, pp. 13-18
copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1979, 2005


If Brazilian cinema not only survived the crisis of 1971-1972 but also went on to thrive and prosper, its "recovery" is explicable by a series of convergent factors. First of all, important political changes occurred after 1972, changes which weakened the military government but strengthened the cinema. The ferocious repression of the crisis period, applied "democratically" to workers, peasants and intellectuals, boomeranged by alienating the Brazilian people and isolating the regime. More important, the predatory economic model imposed by the junta was proving bankrupt and unworkable, enriching foreign companies and their local allies, but impoverishing the Brazilian masses by runaway inflation (40% at a conservative estimate) and what is now a $40-billion foreign debt. The "economic miracle" of 1967 to 1973 — in fact, nothing more than the brutal transference of wealth from the bottom to the top — was shown to be non-viable by popular opposition (expressed in votes and labor militancy) and the sudden quadrupling of oil prices. To placate the people, the government offered promises of liberalization and "responsible democracy." These years were marked by the victory of the officially tolerated opposition party (MDB: Brazilian Democratic Movement) in the 1974 elections, by mounting pressure against censorship, by working class militancy and strikes, and a general call for constitutional government, amnesty for political prisoners and exiles, and for "democracy without adjectives." This spirit of militancy was in evidence even at the 1978 Brasilia Film Festival, where the crowd repeatedly broke into chants of "Amnesty" and "Down with the Dictatorship."

It would be a mistake, however, to underestimate the government's capacity for repression, just as it would be an error to exaggerate the ideological unity of the opposition. The repressive apparatus is still in place, and continues on occasion to show its power. In October 1975, two hundred workers, students and intellectuals were rounded up by military police. Shortly thereafter, filmmaker-journalist-professor Vladimir Herzog, accused by the government of membership in the Communist Party, was murdered in prison. More recently, twenty-three persons associated with the Socialist Convergence Party (a Marxist group calling for the formation of a broadly-based proletarian party) and the left magazine Versus were arrested, Popular pressure, however, keeps the apparatus from unleashing its full fury. At the moment, press censorship has virtually disappeared, Marxist publications are proliferating once more, and the government is attacked daily in the press and in street demonstrations. Strikes by teachers, hospital workers, and metallurgical workers have been aggressive, often tying in political demands with more pragmatic questions. The military government has become extremely isolated, even from the middle class, which once formed its base of support. The army, furthermore, divided both on political (hard-line repression versus liberalization) and economic (pro-imperialism versus national bourgeoisie) questions. The opposition, for its part, is an ideologically hybrid group. (15)

Since 1972, all the exiled Cinema Nova directors have returned to Brazil. Glauber Rocha returned in 1976 and quickly assumed the role of ideological gadfly to both left and right. His short film DI, about the Brazilian painter Di Cavalcanti, was made in Brazil in 1977 and won a documentary prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Rocha is now completing IDADE DA TERRA (AGE OF THE EARTH) in cinemascope, direct sound, and featuring prestigious actors in the roles of Christ, the Pope, and diverse allegorical personages. Meanwhile, other Cinema Novo directors who remain active include: Nelson Pereira dos Santos, with AMULETO DE OGUM (AMULET OF OGUM, 1974) and TENDA DOS MILAGRES (TENT OF MIRACLES, 1976); Carlos Diegues, with JOANNA FRANCESA (JOANNE THE FRENCHWOMAN, 1974), XICA DA SILVA (1976) and CHUVAS DE VERAO (SUMMER RAIN, 1978); Arnaldo Jabor with TODA NUDEZ SERA CASTIGADA (ALL NUDITY WILL BE PUNISHED, 1973), O CASAMENTO (THE WEDDING, 1975), and TUDO BEM (ALL'S WELL, 1978); Leon Hirszman with SAO BERNARDO (1973); Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, with GUERRA CONJUGAL (CONJUGAL WARFARE, 1975) and CONTOS EROTICOS (EROTIC TALES, 1978); Paulo Cesar Saraceni, with ANCHIETA (1978) and JOSE DO BRASIL (JOSE OF BRAZIL, 1978); Walter Lima Jr., with LIRA DO DELIRIO (LYRE OF DELIRIUM, 1978); and Rui Guerra, with A QUEDA (THE FALL, 1977). The Cinema Novo directors, it should be added, also trained new directors. Many young assistant directors, photographers, and editors of Cinema Novo films made their own first films in the early or mid-seventies, notably Eduardo Escorel with his LICAO DE AMOR (LESSON OF LOVE, 1975); Carlos Alberto Prates Correia, with PERDIDA (THE LOST WOMAN, 1976); and Luis Fernando Goulart, with MARILIA E MARINA (MARILIA AND MARINA, 1976).

Along with these figurative "offspring of Cinema Novo, there is also a literal child — Bruno Barreto, son of producer Luis Carlos Barreto — who at the age of twenty-three has already made four feature films, including the immensely successful DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS* (1976). With these and other directors, Brazil now enjoys an immense pool of technical and directorial talent. With current production at roughly one hundred feature films per year, Brazilian cinema has achieved industrial quantity and quality without, paradoxically, having ever become an industry.

Brazilian cinema, progressive on many fronts, has not been progressive in its image of women. Feminist consciousness is growing, however, and feminist language, at least, is beginning to penetrate everyday discourse. There are at least two feminist newspapers — Nós Mulheres (We Women) and Brazil Mulher (Brazil Woman). Norma Bengell, one of the most famous of Brazilian actresses, has also been a strong feminist voice. At the same time, a number of women directors have made their first features. Among the more notable films by women are Maria do Rosario's MARCADOS PARA VIVER (BRANDED FOR LIFE, 1976), shown in the New York Women's Film Festival; Tania Quaresma's NORDESTE: CORDEL, REPENTE, CANCAO (THE MUSIC AND PEOPLE OF THE NORTHEAST*, 1975); and Teresa Trautman's OS HOMENS QUE EU TIVE (THE MEN IN MY LIFE, 1974), a sexually subversive film still banned in Brazil. Ana Carolina Teixeira Soares, meanwhile, after making eleven documentaries, largely on political subjects (for example, a feature-length study of Vargas), has made her first fiction film — the witty, surreal, incendiary MAR DE ROSAS (SEA OF ROSES, 1977).

Brazil is numerically the most African nation outside of Africa. By United States definitions of racial descent, at least a third and perhaps half of Brazil's population of 120 million is black, giving the country the largest population of African descent in the Western Hemisphere. Although blacks have featured prominently as actors in Brazilian films, it is only now that there are black directors. Antonio Pitanga, actor in many Cinema Novo films (BARRAVENTO, THE BIG CITY, JOANNA THE FRENCHWOMAN) directed NA BOCA DO MUNDO (IN THE WORLD'S MOUTH, 1977) and Waldyr Onofre, another actor, directed AS AVENTURAS AMOROSAS DE UM PADEIRO (THE AMOROUS ADVENTURES OF A BAKER, 1975).

The most important single factor in the evolution of Brazilian cinema today is the role of the state film enterprise — Embrafilme — in film production and distribution. Founded in the late 1960's to replace the National Cinema Institute (INC), Embrafilme began playing a decisive role in 1974, when President Geisel named filmmaker Roberto Farias as director. Prior to that time, Embrafilme had been little more than a minor bureaucratic agency which redistributed funds (from taxes levied on theatre tickets) to film producers. Farias, the chosen candidate of the Cinema Novo directors, gave the entity new strength by implementing a program of co-productions with independent producers, in which Embrafilme usually has a 30% share. After approving a project on the script level, it interferes in no other way. He also developed the largest distributor in Latin America, headed by Cinema Novo veteran Gustavo Dahl. Many of the most important films now being made in Brazil are at least partially financed by Embrafilme, and some, like Guerra's A QUEDA (THE FALL, 1977), although not produced by Embrafilme, are distributed by the organization.

Embrafilme's involvement in distribution goes back historically to the decision of Luis Carlos Barreto and other independent producers in the 1960's to struggle collectively against the multinational film corporations. Despite some successes, they soon realized the limits of their own power vis-à-vis wealthy, highly-organized foreign concerns. The solution, they discovered, was, first, to combine the know-how of producers like Barreto with the economic power of the State, and, second, to press for legislation reserving a portion of the market for Brazilian films. As of today, all movie theatres in Brazil must show national films at least 133 days per year. Legislation-fought bitterly by foreign concerns, especially by Jack Valenti (see introduction to Arnoldo Jabor's poem in this special section) also requires the screening of one Brazilian short along with each foreign feature, an essential measure since short films serve as a training ground for new directors and technicians. Still, much remains to be done. Luis Carlos Barreto calls for new theatres in the poorer urban areas, and for cinemobiles (à la Cuba) for the rural poor who have not yet seen any cinema.

Although most Brazilian filmmakers acknowledge the need for a State role in film production and distribution, satisfaction with the current structure is neither universal nor complete. Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, while basically supporting Embrafilme, calls for a democratization giving filmmakers themselves a stronger role in decision-making. He and other directors have founded a production cooperative as an alternative for independent filmmakers. Meanwhile, filmmakers from São Paulo (Francisco Ramalho Jr., João Batista de Andrade) complain of favoritism toward Rio de Janeiro. Underground filmmakers, for their part, object that Embrafilme promotes commercial super-productions while it neglects low-budget and avant-garde films.

Some critics pose more radical objections. Rui Guerra, who recently accepted an invitation by the government of Mozambique to participate in the formation of the National Cinema Institute, and is therefore familiar with socialist alternatives, makes the obvious point that in a capitalist society one cannot expect a state organ to promote anti-capitalist films. Yet Guerra's own THE FALL, which at least implicitly calls for the abolition of capitalism, is being distributed by Embrafilme. But it is filmmaker-critic Paulo Chaves Fernandes who makes the most radical critique of all. The dominant tendency in Brazilian cinema, he argues, with all its talk of national objectives, rigorously avoids talking about social contradictions:

"This cinema, protecting itself with certain nebulous concepts and redeeming promises such as national interests, 'Brazilian culture,' and 'conquest of the market,' accepts the corporatist game and patriotically pursues the triumphalism of 'national-popular art,' digestive, cheerful, and above all, profitable. History repeats itself with its customary irony: populism returns, this time through the very 'radicals' who contested it so vigorously in the sixties." (16)

While the danger to which Chaves points — that of a vacuous bourgeois nationalism — is very real, it is equally true that many Brazilian films do talk about social contradiction. In ALL'S WELL and THE FALL, social contradiction occupies center stage, while in TENT OF MIRACLES social contradiction is evoked through cultural struggle. As for the charge of populism,' Carlos Diegues argues that Embrafilme is a victory, not a retreat, for the anti-populist radicals of the sixties. Cinema Novo, he claims, had always called for an entity like Embrafilme. While radically opposed to the present government, Diegues sees a State contribution to national cinema as a popular right — like the nationalization of resources — to be seized. In any case, many filmmakers argue, without Embrafilme, foreign films would immediately reoccupy Brazilian screens, and that would be a tragedy for filmmakers of all tendencies.

One feature of the current debate which might surprise Americans is that both sides in the debate are on the political left. Carlos Diegues, the putative "right," declares himself adamantly opposed to capitalism, "the cruelest social system yet devised." Before facilely choosing sides on the basis of a priori positions, one must take measure of the anguishing complexity of the choice. At the height of Third Worldism in the late sixties, radical tri-continental revolution, under the symbolic aegis of Frantz Fanon, Ho Chi Minh, and Che Guevara, seemed imminent. Recent Third World revolutions have only occurred, however, in countries where armed struggle against a colonizing power coincided with social revolution — Viet Nam, Mozambique, Angola. Brazil is not likely to become another Cuba, however one might it to become one.

Given that unlikelihood, what does one do? A certain leftism locates itself not to the left of the political spectrum but to the left of anything possible. Such a stance is self-flattering (implying the purity of a no-one-to-my-left position), self-exculpatory (committing one to no concrete action or group) and self-defeating (since it is doomed to non-realization). We suspect — while remaining modest about our capacity to give advice at such a safe distance — that what we take to be Rui Guerra's position is the most coherent, i.e. that an organism like Embrafilme is necessary, but that one should remain lucid about its built-in limitations within a capitalist society, while at the same time taking dialectical advantage of its breaches and contradictions, something which Guerra's own film does brilliantly. The goal would seem to be to work within the possible in order to prepare the way for the not-yet-possible.

What has been gained and what lost since Cinema Novo? First, to speak of the indisputable victories, Brazilian cinema has at least won its own public, albeit largely middle class; it no longer speaks only to a national, and international elite. Second, it has achieved unprecedented levels of technical excellence. Third, it has gained a pluralistic diversity of style and genre, broad enough to include avant-garde experimentation (Sganzerla's THE ABYSS, 1978), militant documentary (Lauro Escorel's THE LIBERTARIANS, 1978), anthropological fiction (Gustavo Dahl's UIRA, 1973), historical reconstruction (Geraldo Sarno's DELMIRO GOUVEIA*, 1978), surreal fantasy (Ana Carolina's SEA OF ROSES), carnivalesque celebration (XICA DA SILVA), intimist dramas (MARILIA AND MARINA), science-fiction (Jose de Anchieta's PARADA 88, 1978), and critical realism (SÃO BERNARDO).

There are many paths, Brazilians have discovered, to the mountaintop of progressive cinema. Films like MACUNAÍMA disinhibited Brazilian cinema and thus brought it closer to the Brazilian people. Brazilians, after all, share a lively sense of humor and repartee, combined with an historically exacerbated alertness to the absurd, traits one rarely senses in first and second phase Cinema Novo films. The right, which monopolizes so much, Carlos Diegues points out, need have no monopoly on humor or joy. Arnaldo Jabor recalls the days when Brazilian directors were harassed by what he calls "the culturalist superego":

"There was a strong culturalist pressure on Brazilian cinema. Everytime a filmmaker was going to place the camera, s/he would muse: Straub would put it here, Godard would put it there, Losey would have a traveling shot, Jansco would have a ten-minute traveling shot, Welles would take a wide-angle lens and put it on the floor … in short, there was a certain hesitation at the level of cinematic language …" (17)

Jabor sees Brazilian cinema as liberating itself from this "castrating (sic) figure called fictive mise-en-scene" and from the fantasy of gaining entry - to a cinematic pantheon, which begins with Eisenstein and extends to Godard and Straub. Brazilian cinema is finding its own political and stylistic voice.

The successes of Brazilian cinema have not been without their ambiguities. At times the esthetic of hunger seems to have degenerated into an esthetic of gluttony, with high-budget features and well-told tales that have won their market, but to no purpose. (18) A crucial debate now taking place in Brazil centers on the nature of the popular. Brazilian cinema is now popular in the sense of drawing a large public. The debate focuses on whether the current films are truly popular" or merely populist and "popularesque."

The idea of popular cinema, quite widespread in the early sixties, was resuscitated in 1974 by Nelson Pereira dos Santos' "Manifesto for a Popular Cinema," written to accompany the release of his THE AMULET OF OGUM. In general terms, this manifesto advocates the affirmation and defense of Brazilian popular culture through cinema. He defines popular culture here as the spontaneous cultural expression of the people, i.e. of the vast marginalized majority of the Brazilian population. According to dos Santos, it is important to celebrate this culture since it is different from other superficial, elitist cultural forms that follow antiquated, colonized models. Defending popular cultural expression, filmmakers also defend popular political ideas. Dos Santos took religion as a starting point since it provided him with a global vision and a way of thinking in relation to all of Brazilian society. Rather than impose elitist preconceptions on popular culture, dos Santos seeks to adopt the perspective of the people. Unlike earlier Cinema Nova positions, this view comes close to suggesting that the popular vision is always right, a position echoed by Pedro Archanjo, the protagonist of dos Sangos' TENT OF MIRACLES, when he tells the ponderous Marxist professor that love for the people is more important than political dogma.

Dos Santos' position is a salutary provocation for those intellectuals who speak of the people and of popular culture in the abstract, yet who in the concrete frown on virtually everything the people do and believe. On the other hand, the celebration of popular culture is charged with ambiguities, the same ambiguities that characterize carnival in Brazil. If it is true, as Mikhail Bakhtin suggests, that carnival represents the Utopia of the common people, in which official ruling-class hierarchies are overturned and people gain brief entry into the sphere of utopian freedom, (18) it is also true that carnival — like football, like samba, like religion, like cinema — can function as an escape valve, a means of making oppression bearable. (19)

To Glauber Rocha's famous phrase, "uma ideia na cabeca e uma camera na mão" (an idea in your head and a camera in hand), Nelson Pereira dos Santos has added "e o povo em frente" (and the people in front"). Rui Guerra has further amended the phrase: the people in front, certainly, but não em festa" (but not in their festivities). For Guerra, a popular cinema must not only deal with popular themes, but must create a political relation with the people; it must reach the potentially revolutionary classes, i.e. the urban proletariat and the rural masses. Brazilian cinema has never been popular in these terms, since the exhibition circuits have historically served the middle class. Given the capitalist structures of production, distribution and exhibition in Brazil today, a popular cinema in the sense advocated by Guerra and others remains a utopian idea unless accompanied by a popular transformation of society, i.e. by a radical change in its political and economic structure. Given the impossibility of making truly popular films within the current structure, Guerra sees many current films as trying to reconcile the contradictions inherent in such a project and falling into a populist trap by showing the people in their festivities rather than in their daily work and struggle. Candomblé and other religious forms, for Guerra, are alienated cultural expressions, and their unqualified celebration represents an abdication of the intellectual's role in cultural and political struggle.

We believe that Brazilian cinema and the current debate about its future direction have much to tell us. We are not asking the world to graciously admit a few well-chosen auteurs to some mythical pantheon. We are suggesting, rather, that we all have much to learn from Brazilian cinema. Its most progressive filmmakers are very aware of being involved in a collective project — the struggle for cultural identity and political liberation. Rather than spend millions to make people feel emotions not worth feeling, their films create a social, political, collective space-time rather than the individualized psychologized space-time of most commercial films. More important, the best Brazilian films point the way to the dialectical transcendence of a number of false dichotomies. A radical avant-garde cinema which no one sees versus a commercially degraded popular cinema? Films like MACUNAÍMA and THE FALL are, in different ways, avant-garde and popular. Self-referential distanciation versus emotional participation? Many Brazilian films — LAND IN ANGUISH, THE GODS AND THE DEAD — are rigorously Brechtian and intensely participatory. Serious, didactic, political films versus frivolous entertainment? MACUNAÍMA and ALL'S WELL are politically radical and side-splittingly funny. It is this synthesis of energy and consciousness, emotion and distance, humor and political purpose, perhaps, which is most impressive in Brazilian cinema. These films must be seen; more important, they must be understood.


For their help and encouragement in this project we would like to thank Fabiano Canosa, Jean-Claude Bernardet, Ismail Xavier, João Luiz Vieira and Joanne Barkan.

1. Eduardo Galeano, The Open Veins of Latin America (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1973), p. 238.

2. See Positif, No. 116, May 1970.

3. Paulo Emilio Salles Gomes, "Cinema: Trajetória no Subdesenvolvimento," Argumento, I (October 1973), p. 58. The late P.E. Salles Gomes, perhaps best known in the U.S. for his definitive biography of Jean Vigo, is also one of Brazil's foremost film historian/critics. He worked hard to create an authentically Brazilian cinema and criticism, in contrast to the prevailing colonized mode.

4. This tradition of parody has continued to the present day. In the fifties Carlos Manga spoofed HIGH NOON in his MATAR OU CORRER (TO KILL OR TO RUN) and SAMSON AND DELILAH in NEM SAMSAO NEM DALILA (NEITHER SAMSON NOR DELILAH). More recently, there have been parodies of KING KONG (KING MONG), CLOCKWORK ORANGE (BANANA MECANICA, or THE MECHANICAL BANANA), and JAWS (BACALHUA, or CODFISH).

5. Georges Sadoul, Dictionnaire des Cinéastes (Paris: Seuil, 1965), p. 158.

6. Rogerio Sganzerla, "Ganga Bruta," Suplemento Literário de O Estado do São Paulo, February 6, 1965.

7. Humberto Mauro went on to a prolific career, making hundreds of documentaries for the National Institute of Educational Cinema, and directing scores of feature films, up through O CANTO DA SAUDADE (SONG OF NOSTALGIA, 1952). He also collaborated on Nelson Pereira dos Santos COMO ERA GOSTOSO MEU FRANCES (HOW TASTY WAS MY LITTLE FRENCHMAN, 1972).

8. Carlos Roberto de Sousa, "A Fascinante Aventura do Cinema Brasileiro," Suplemento Literário de O Estado do São Paulo, Nov. 1, 1975.

9. Hélio Jaguaribe, "O Modelo Politico e a Estrutura Economico-Social Brasileira," Econtros com a Civilizacao Brasileira, No. 4 (1978), p. 132.

10. These groups included the National Liberation Alliance, led by Carlos Marighela (a disaffected member of the Communist Party), Popular Action, and Popular Revolutionary Vanguard. See Jean Marc Van der Weid, Brasil: 1964 to the Present (Editions Latin America, Montreal).

11. From the Difilm Distribution Notes to O BRAVO GUERREIRO.

12. See Positif, No. 139, June 1972.

13. The cannibalist metaphor goes back to the Brazilian modernist movement of the twenties. "Only cannibalism unites us," proclaimed modernist poet-dramatist-critic Oswald de Andrade, "Tupi or not Tupi — that is the question." Through the metaphor of cannibalism, Brazilian artists thumbed their noses at their own "palefaces" and at colonizing, over-cultivated Europe, while heeding surrealism's call for savagery in art.

14. Roberto Schwarz, Remarques sur la Culture et la Politique au Bresil: 1964-1969," Les Corps Modernes, No. 288 (1970), p. 52.

15. In a situation of political repression, in which all but the two official parties (MDB and ARENA) have been banned, it is difficult to speak with precision about left organizations in Brazil. A rough outline, however, would go as follows: MOB (Brazilian Democratic Movement) is an umbrella party including diverse tendencies, from extreme right to extreme left. The PCB (Brazilian Communist Party) has been active since its founding in 1922, but legal for only two years (1945-1947). It is Moscow-oriented, and has generally based its policies on a two-stage theory of revolution, supporting the nationalist bourgeoisie and its "revolution" in preparation for the authentic proletarian revolution which will follow it. Presently, there is a certain tension between Moscow-line and Euro-communist tendencies. The party works with labor organizations, with MDB, and publishes Voz Operaria (Proletarian Voice) and O Bloco clandestinely. The PTB (Brazilian Labor Party) was founded by Vargas in 1945. Banned since 1964, the Party has recently requested legalization. A key figure in this party is the exiled leader Leonel Brizola, a bête noir to the Junta because he tried to organize armed resistance to the 1964 coup d'etat. The party has a strong working and middle class base, especially in Rio Grande do Sul. Left critics of the PTB call it populist and social-democratic; its defenders argue that it is one of the few left parties to have a mass base and a concrete chance of winning power in Brazil. The party publishes Cadernos Trabaihistas (Labor Notes). To the left of both PCB and PTB, we find PCdoB (Communist Party of Brazil). Formed in 1962 by dissident members of the Communist Party, it was the first Maoist Party. Following a strategy of protracted popular war, the group developed a guerilla foco in the state of Para in the late 60s. In 1976, the group suffered a setback when military police raided one of their meetings in São Paulo, killing several members and arresting others. There are also a number of Trotskyist organizations. "Socialist Convergence," an open (as opposed to legal) organization, calls for a broadly-based independent working-class party. "Freedom and Struggle" has a strong student base and publishes O Trabalho (Work). Other groups are "Socialist Tendency," (especially strong in Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre) and Socialist Workers Party. Some groups which promoted guerrilla strategies in the late sixties, such as MR8 (Revolutionary Movement of October 8, roughly comparable to MIR in Chile) and Popular Action, have engaged in self-criticism but are still active. There are diverse left periodicals apart from those already mentioned: Versus, Movimento, Em Tempo (In Time) and Singular e Plural. There are feminist periodicals: Mom Mulheres (We Women) and Brasil Mulher (Brazil Woman); a gay periodical (Lampião); and a number of black periodicals such as Voz Negra (Black Voice).

Brazil also has a number of broad-based, single-issue movements such as the "Cost of Living" movement, in which the left wing of the Catholic Church is actively involved, and a broad movement for amnesty for all exiles and political prisoners. There has recently been a good deal of labor militancy, and a wave of (illegal) strikes. Many worker organizations are asking for wages that not only keep up with inflation but which compensate the cruel distortions of years of dictatorship. Recently, dissident physicians, teachers, truck drivers, garbage collectors, bank employees, and bus drivers have all gone on strike. The most important strike, however, has been by metal workers. (In Brazil this category includes janitors, factory workers and engineers in the multinational plants of General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, etc.). Their leader is Lula (Luis Ignacio da Silva), affectionately dubbed the "Ayatollula" for his capacity to marshall worker-crowds in support of specific militant actions.

16. Paulo Chaves Fernandes, "Cinema Novo: Forca Total para Embrafilme, Ordem e Progresso," Beijo, No. 1 (January 1978), p. 12.

17. From an unpublished interview with Arnaldo Jabor.

18. Two graduate students at New York University, João Luis Vieira and Elizabeth Merena, in an unpublished study of Nelson Pereira dos Santos FOME DE AMOR (HUNGER FOR LOVE, 1968), trace the signification of hunger in the diverse phases of Cinema Novo. Quite literal in the first phase films like VIDAS SECAS (BARREN LIVES) and OS FUZIS (THE GUNS), it becomes semi-metaphorical in second-phase films like TERRA EM TRANSE (LAND IN ANGUISH) and FOME DE AMOR (HUNGER FOR LOVE), finally giving way to lavish banquets and feasts of XICA DA SILVA and TENDA DOS MILAGRES.

19. See Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World (Cambridge, Mass: M.I.T. Press, 1968).