With a strong sense of compassion for the impoverished and an underlying hatred for the injustice, this is one of the first works from Brazil’s Cinema Novo. A poor Brazilian family struggle to earn a living when they take a job overseeing the livestock of a wealthy rancher.
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A waterless, not arid film, as concentrated as its scrub-vagabonding thirsty creatures, skin on bones, frugal but striking. Fear as the point of maximal compression of the being. The expectation of the worse after a hard decision causes an inner castling up. More than elsewhere, in fear I am. As I bring myself together in the limits of my being, fear outlines and restricts its domain. Not a part of me remains, loose,
Vidas Secas captures a deeply memorable account of the underdevelopment and vast socio-economic disparity that plagues the Northeast. It impresses with a relentless depiction of its memorable characters and symbiosis between nature and human existence. In center, a family that thinks but rarely speaks,they accept and face the reality of their everyday lives heroically and with impressive stoicism. One to remember.
The film is visually assaultive in it's intensity of light, to the point where you begin to feel woozy as if you've been out in the sun too long. Or maybe that has something to do with the camera work as well. I haven't seen anything quite like the way the camera is handled in this film. A lot of the shots the frames seem to bend and create weird moments of altering perspective, almost like an inverse form of 3D.