With a cast that included Mauro’s wife billed as Lola Lys in her only screen appearance, Tesouro Perdido revealed the remarkable cinematic skills of the self-taught filmmaker. Inspired by American productions, the film is a melodramatic adventure story involving bandits in search of a treasure map. The scenes in which they kidnap the heroine and are confronted by the hero in a struggle to the death in a burning cabin as the hero’s brother and friend ride to the rescue on horseback demonstrate Mauro’s successful assimilation of his American contemporaries’ technique in creating heart-pounding excitement. The film, however, lacks the erotic lyricism that would become a marked feature of Mauro’s vision. At the same time, Mauro’s flair for staging dramatic scenes against a natural background foreshadows his subsequent films. —gildasattic.com
Humberto Duarte Mauro (30 April 1897 – 5 October 1983) was a Brazilian film director. His best known work is Ganga Bruta. He is often considered the greatest director of early Brazilian cinema.
Mauro was born on a farm in Volta Grande, Minas Gerais to Caetano Mauro, an Italian immigrant, and Tereza Duarte. At an early age he showed an interest in music and mechanics. He played the violin and mandolin. He studied electromechanics at a school in Belo Horizonte. After one year at the school, Mauro joined his parents in Cataguases. During the time electricity began to be used in central Brazil. Mauro got a job installing electricity in local farms. He also constructed the first apparatus for radio reception in Cataguases. In 1916 he moved to Rio de Janeiro to work as an electrician. In 1918 he returned to Cataguases. After purchasing a Kodak camera in 1923, Mauro met Pedro Cornello the leading photographer in Cataguases. Both were interested in cinema, and Mauro was a fan of American… read more