Barren Lives (Vidas Secas)


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Barren Lives (Vidas Secas)

  1. Monday, April 15, 2013 7:00 p.m.
Image from the film Barren Lives
Barren Lives is considered a founding film of the Cinema Novo movement. Derived from Graciliano Ramos’ novel, the film is set in the early 1940s, and describes a year in the life of a poor, uprooted cowhand and his family in the drought-ridden sertão of the Brazilian Northeast. The film is stark in its imagery, powerful in its documentation of the retirante (uprooted), who is dependent on a feudal landowning system. A realistic depiction of the wretched of the earth, Barren Lives is still relevant today; it reads as a white-hot, almost mystically intense pilgrim’s progress through a purgatory that seemingly has no end. Nelson Pereira dos Santos is scheduled to be present. In Portuguese language with English subtitles. (New 35mm print)

Director Nelson Pereira dos Santos is scheduled to be present.

“Over fifty years have passed since Nelson Pereira dos Santos made his first film, yet he continues to work with youthful enthusiasm on new projects,” wrote Darlene Sadlier in her book on Pereira dos Santos for the Contemporary Film Directors series published by University of Illinois Press. “His career is long and diverse” and “his various projects are unified by a leftist political point of view and a desire to make his audience think as well as feel.” This series is sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Brazilian Consulate in Chicago, Office of the Vice President of International Affairs, College of Arts and Humanities Institute, Film and Media Studies, Department of Communication and Culture, African Studies, Black Film Center/Archive, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, American Studies, Latino Studies, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Brazilian Association at Indiana University and IU Cinema. Special thanks to the Academia Brasileira de Letras and Darlene Sadlier. This visit is also in partnership with UCLA, Wexner Center for the Arts and City College, New York.