Sunday, 5 May 2013

Black God White Devil

Just a quick post... I was surfing earlier and came across to my extreme delight Black God White Devil, smartly jacketed in a Criterion sleeve. I was momentarily stunned that this had been announced under my nose until I realised I was looking at an imposter from the very fine website Fake Criterions... A key film of Brazil's Cinema Novo movement, Glauber Rocha's 1964 film Black God White Devil follows the fortunes of a poor farmer who kills a cattle owner and goes on the run to hook up with a religious maniac and later a revolutionary bandit, all the while followed by hired gunman Antonio das Mortes... A ragged, feverish film Black God White Devil is a heady brew of mysticism, religion and politics played out against some of the driest scorched looking landscapes in Cinema, the story propelled along by a Greek chorus of fantastic Brazilian folk songs. The violence is often surprisingly sadistic - a baby stabbed to death on a sacrificial altar, a bride raped on her wedding day - and the film is outlandish enough to include a startling tip of the hat to Eisenstein's Odessa Steps. Rocha's film sits somewhere between Gospel According to Matthew, A Bullet For the General and El Topo, and if all that sounds intriguing, this is the film for you (and hopefully for Criterion too!)


  1. Sounds fascinating Wes, availability?

    The Fake Criterion tumblr is great, thanks for flagging that up.

  2. Yep, there's a R2 DVD courtesy of the hit n' miss Mr Bongo label - I haven't taken the plunge on it myself, but if it's the copy Film4 have it's just okay. Apparently, there's a very good English friendly Brazilian DVD but who knows where to get these things ?