Violence: A Striking Theme throughout God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun

1983 Words Dec 7th, 2011 8 Pages
Discuss Glauber Rocha’s approach to violence and morality in God and the Devil in the Land of Sun.

Glauber Rocha’s purpose as a filmmaker, as he explains, has always been to contribute to the creation of a cinema that is genuinely Brazilian, based on national features, which can facilitate the social and political awareness required for the transformation of Brazil as a country. In the course of forming an identity for a new national cinema, which sought to deviate from the conventions of the Hollywood model, Glauber Rocha often employs themes such as hunger, violence and morality. These, in their most true-to-life forms, consolidate the harshness of the reality that permeates Brazil, particularly the Northern area, and differentiates
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This violent setting conveys the misery, the scarceness and the fight for survival that the Northeastern people have to cope with. In this vein, the initial appearance of Manuel and Rosa characterise this sense of misery and helplessness. They are dissolved of any belongings, dominated by those in power, and can only have hope, be it on God or the Devil, on something that could lead them towards a future. This is evident in Rosa’s frivolous attitude as Manuel talks enthusiastically about Sebastiao, and later when it becomes clear that the appropriated response for the misery that troubles their relationship is violence, through her killing Sebastiao. Glauber Rocha employs various techniques to dramatise the violence in God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun. The language in the film is harsh and aggressive. Manuel, when speaking to Rosa about the promises made by Saint Sebastian says: "The whole earth is dry, it’s bad, it never bore anything worthwhile"; Corisco, referring to his life, says: "My fate is so dirty that not all blood in the world can wash it; Antonio das Mortes comments on the death of the ‘beatos’: "I did not kill the ‘beatos’ for the money. I killed them because I cannot rest living with this misery. "These examples of the powerful language, together with realistic and sometimes shocking imagery (skinning the boyfriend of the daughter of a colonel, tied to a tree stand, for example), encapsulate the

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