Based on 19th century story “O Alienista” by great Brazilian writer Machado de Assis, the film is a free adaptation, telling the story of Catholic priest Simão Bacamarte who comes to the small town of Serafim to investigate on the phenomenon of madness and ends up putting most of its inhabitants in an asylum, making things get out of control. –IMDb
Considered to be the “mentor” and “conscience” of Cinema Novo (New Cinema)—the movement that fundamentally transformed the theory and practice of film in Brazil and Latin America—Nelson Pereira dos Santos encapsulates many of its ideals in his works.
The most important of these is the reaction against the domination of Brazilian screens by foreign films and imported cinematic models, for Cinema Novo is the result of efforts by directors such as Pereira, Glauber Rocha, and Carlos Diegues to make a genuinely “popular cinema.” This concept has been used in a variety of ways, but to Pereira it represents a combination of commercial success and a concern with national identity. Thus, though he criticized early Cinema Novo works because they were inaccessible to the general public, he also feels that marketability is not the only criteria by which to judge what is “popular.” For Pereira, films must also affirm the principles of Brazilian popular culture, which he sees as dramatically… read more