In the São Bernardo Farm, Viçosa, Alagoas, the violent eighteen year-old Paulo Honório (Othon Bastos) is arrested after stabbing João Fagundes, who had flirted with his lover Germana. He spends three and half years in jail, where he learns how to read and write. Then the greedy Paulo returns to hard work, but also lending money and charging high interest, accumulating capital. He takes the São Bernardo Farm from Luiz Padilha (Nildo Parente), who owed him money, and he uses his henchman to kill his neighbor Mendonça and resolve a demarcation of land issue. Paulo Honório becomes a wealthy farmer who exploits his workers and during a trip by train, meets Dona Glória (Vanda Lacerda) and later her twenty-seven year-old niece Madalena (Isabel Ribeiro). She is a teacher in a nearby village, but Paulo convinces her to marry him without love and move to São Bernardo. His life is completely affected with her behavior, who helps the people being exploited by him. Paulo considers her communist and his brutal and jealous behavior kills Madalena, and he questions his life in the end. —IMDb
Leon Hirszman, one of Brazil’s best-known film directors. Mr. Hirszman directed the 1967 film ‘’Garota de Ipanema’’ (‘’The Girl From Ipanema’‘), which he once described as ’’my only film made to make money.‘’ Born in Rio de Janeiro on Nov. 22, 1937, Mr. Hirszman left Brazil in 1974 at a time of increasing political repression, to live in Chile for two years. Mr. Hirszman won an award at the Venice Film Festival in 1981 with his film ’’Eles Nao Usam Black Tie’’ (‘’They Don’t Wear Black Tie’’). The film was chosen as ‘’best picture of the year’’ in Brazil and Mr. Hirszman was also named as best director. His first major film, ‘’A Falecida’’ (‘’The Deceased’‘), won a special jury award at the International Film Festival of Rio de Janeiro in 1965. In 1970, he directed ’’Sao Bernardo,’’ which is considered a classic in Brazil. —New York Times
Esperei anos pra ver a adaptação de um livro que gosto muito. Hirszman vai ao cerne de questões humanas - a dificuldade de amar, o ciúme desmedido - e sociais - a exploração do patrão pelo empregado, a questão fundiária- e nos dá um filme milimétrico, construído em som 'off', planos longos e a interpretação A+ de Othon Bastos. O cinema vai bebendo a literatura pelas beiras...E não há o que temer, só admirar!