XL Popcorn – Black God, White Devil

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Progress: 761/1007Title: Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (Black God, White Devil)
Director: Glauber Rocha
Year: 1964
Country: Brazil

I know that some people get a real kick out of writing about a film/album/TV show that they didn’t enjoy and just rip it to shreds. For me, those are the hardest things to write about (unless it manages to personally offend me somehow) because I just don’t really know what to say. So, please excuse the brevity of this write-up as I’m not entirely sure what saving graces I can find here.

In the beginning, you think this going to be another film about poverty in Brazil – the twist being that the couple are on the run after the husband murders his boss for short-changing him. From here it just becomes a weird and bleak mess of a film that negates character and plot development in favour of unearned melodrama. The camerawork is shaky, the acting is stilted and a lot of the shock value sequences are so clunky that you get taken out of it. I mean, sure, I don’t want a blood curdling scream when the cult leader stabs the baby… but some resistance on the knife would have helped a bit.

It just ended up being two hours of my life that I am mad about not getting back. At least if it was in English I could have distracted myself on my phone, but with a subtitled film you are kinda held hostage. I guess that I just haven’t found a Brazilian film that marries up to O Pagador de Promessas  in terms of quality and human connection.

So, um…. this is the first of two films by Rocha that I have to see for the list and, after this one, I can’t say that I am too thrilled at the prospect of another film like this. Who knows though, he might go on to surprise me.

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