Black God, White Devil, 1964 - ★★★★

Black God, White Devil, 1964 - ★★★★


"Is killing your way of loving your neighbor?"

- Blindman Julio (Marrom)
also our narrator

..::Machismovision: Wow The West Was Fun - #21 | Country Checklist-Brazil::..

Manuel's people are living through a drought. Out of necessity he's forced to sell his remaining cattle to his boss, a wealthy rancher who cheats him, so Manuel kills the man and flees with his wife. Ending up an outcast he tries to fit in with various people & factions including a mystical charlatan and a war mongering freedom fighting bandit. All leading to Manuel's discovery that he must essentially follow his own path.

Granted Glauber Rocha's mesmerizingly uneven (trust me the 3rd acts brutally boring and filled with so much religious psychobabble, its like being back in Sunday school again) b&w epic Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol aka Black God, White Devil isn't a conventional western by any means. But I'd still class it as an head-western, at least in the same sense as Alejandro Jodorowsky's 'El Topo' (which I'm gonna rewatch next woohoo). Rocha's film is essentially a variant of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, only with an equal emphasis on political restraints on our protagonist, alongside spiritual ones. Even though its shot almost entirely externally it bares a resemblance to a stageplay, breaking now then for spurts of action or musical interludes from our blind guide Julios. I failed to grasp lots about this, the subtitle translation didn't help leaving possible key elements and whole songs out, but then again its probably a film best to let flow and pick up what you can. Speaking of which holy mole wtf!

[Personal Reasons For Remembering]

I've been watching the new season of Utopia so dug its unique genocidal way of curing hunger. My elation at making it through the 3rd act, to get to a shootout then its amazing tracking shot of Manuel running the land, and fade to FIM.

Originally taken from Letterboxd

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