Brazilian Saga: Carlos Diegues’ Cinematic Adventures

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Carlos Diegues in person!

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Carlos Diegues was a pioneer of the revolutionary Cinema Novo movement, which made film an integral part of the cultural and sociopolitical struggles facing Brazil in the 1960s. Diegues’ now-iconic films had a historical emphasis but were conceptually groundbreaking and were among the first to bring Afro-Brazilian culture to life on film. We are proud to present this comprehensive survey of his work.

In This Series

The Big City

The Big City

Carlos Diegues | 1966 | 35mm | 80 mins

Arriving in Rio de Janeiro from the northeast, Luzia (Anecy Rocha) searches for her fiancé Jasão, only to discover that he is now a feared thief operating in one of the city’s favelas.

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Bye Bye Brazil

Bye Bye Brazil

Carlos Diegues | 1979 | Digibeta | 105 mins

Diegues introduction and Q&A at April 12 screening!

A motley crew of traveling performers entertains a wide range of audiences across the massive northern Brazilian landscape, leading to a string of adventures across the Amazon.

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Ganga Zumba

Ganga Zumba

Carlos Diegues | 1963 | 35mm | 92 mins

16th century slaves conspire to escape northeastern Brazilian sugar cane mills, led by young Ganga Zumba, who forms the first revolutionary republic in the Americas.

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God is Brazilian

God is Brazilian

Carlos Diegues | 2002 | HDCam | 110 mins

Before taking a vacation from Earth on a faraway star, God goes on a cross-country quest to find the ideal substitute to assume his enormous responsibilities.

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The Greatest Love Ever

The Greatest Love Ever

Carlos Diegues | 2006 | HDCam | 106 mins

A highly respected astrophysicist learns that he has a fatal disease, and on his return to his native Brazil discovers his blood parents’ actual identity and unexpected love story.

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The Heirs

The Heirs

Carlos Diegues | 1970 | HDCam | 103 mins

Diegues introduction and Q&A at April 14 screening!

At the end of the turbulent 1960s, Diegues made this saga of a Brazilian family, tracking them from 1930 to 1964, the year of the military coup d’état.

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Joanna the Frenchwoman

Joanna the Frenchwoman

Carlos Diegues | 1975 | 35mm | 112 mins

A sugar cane mill owner falls in love with brothel madam Jeanne (Jeanne Moreau) and takes her to his rural home, where she’s seduced by a world she’s never known.

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Orfeu

Orfeu

Carlos Diegues | 1999 | HDCam | 110 mins

Diegues introduction and Q&A at April 14 screening!

Top samba composer Orfeu is working on new arrangements for the upcoming Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but a love affair with Eurídice sets off a cycle of jealousy and violence.

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Quilombo

Quilombo

Carlos Diegues | 1984 | Digibeta | 119 mins

Note: Diegues will no longer be in person at this screening.

Diegues returns to the heroic subject of his debut, Ganga Zumba, with Tony Tornado starring as the legendary leader of a group of slaves who have fled a Pernambuco sugar cane mill.

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Rio’s Love Songs

Rio’s Love Songs

Carlos Diegues | 1995 | HDCam | 104 mins

Diegues creates a cinematic quilt of four episodes inspired by some of Brazil’s greatest songsmiths—Jorge Ben Jor, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque.

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Subway to the Stars

Subway to the Stars

Carlos Diegues | Teresa Gonzales | 1987 | HDCam | 93 mins

Note: Diegues will no longer be in person at this screening.

Realizing that his girlfriend has disappeared, Vinicius sets off on an odyssey across Rio de Janeiro to find her, encountering violence, misery and injustice, with music a constant, pulsing presence.

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Summer Showers

Summer Showers

Carlos Diegues | 1978 | HDCam | 86 mins

No sooner does Afonso retire than he gets sucked into issues involving his daughter, friends and neighbors, leading to fresh, passionate sparks with longtime neighbor Isaura.

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Tieta

Tieta

Carlos Diegues | 1995 | HDCam | 140 mins

Note: Diegues will no longer be in person at this screening.

Banished from her hometown as a teen, Tieta (Sonia Braga) returns two decades later a wealthy woman, but is soon scandalized by a love affair and terrible revelations.

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Xica

Xica

Carlos Diegues | 1976 | DCP | 107 mins

Introduction by Diegues at April 12 screening!

Portuguese Crown representative João falls in love with black slave Xica and raises her to the prominent position of “Queen of Diamonds,” stirring the King’s worst fears.

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