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FILM SCHOOL: Bye Bye Brazil (1980)

By Adam Thomas

Thursday December 13, 2007

Directed by Carlos Diegues

Considered to be Brazil’s first international cinematic success in terms of native cinema, or what film theorists call “Third Cinema”, Bye Bye Brazil is a wild and slightly wicked film filled with sexuality, sensuality and strange tenderness towards a country on the brink of evolution. Pitting the past against the present, the realms of the fantastical (traditional) and the real (modern) collide as a traveling Caravan led by Lord Gypsy arrives in a small town. There, a local accordionist falls in love with the sultry, “Queen of the Rumba” Salome, and decides to hit the road — bringing along his pregnant wife. Over the course of the film’s 9,000 miles, the strained love affair between the characters embodies the shifting political landscape of Brazil itself as the lush fantasies of the forbidden give way to the stark responsibilities of real life.