Glauber Rocha studied Law and directed theatre pieces, wrote movie criticisms and took part in the creation and development of the 'cinema novo' movement in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, becoming its theoretical leader and first embassador in Europe. After "Barravento (1962)", a trilogy of films and "Antonio das Mortes (1969)" he won various international prizes. As he symbolized the feelings of the ideology of the May of 1968, he became very popular in Europe and America. But when he started to film in Africa and Spain his followers were distracted and this marked the beginning of the decline of his fame. Thus, he only made a couple of films of minor interest later on.
Rocha was born in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil in 1938 and moved with his family to Salvador when he was only 9 years old, there studying in a famous and respected Presbyterian school. During his adolescence, he developed great interest in arts, especially theatre and cinema, and even joined a drama group. He was also very active in politics, a trait that would be strongly influential in his works.
By the age of 16 he started freelancing for a local newspaper and debuted as a movie reviewer. Later, he attended Law School for about two years and in 1959, after taking part in some projects as assistant, he finally directed his first short, "Pátio". After gaining some recognition in Bahia for his critical and artistic work, Rocha decided to quit college and pursue a journalistic career, as well as being a film-maker.
He is notorious for his film trilogy, made up of Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (1964) - perhaps his most acclaimed movie, nominated for the Golden Palm -, Terra em Transe (1967) and O Dragão da Maldade Contra o Santo Guerreiro (1969), award-winning for Best Director at Cannes. His films were renowned for their strongly-expressed political themes, often combined with mysticism and folklore, but also for their particular style and photography. Rocha is regarded as the one of the best Brazilian directors of all time and leader of the Cinema Novo movement, as well as a full-time polemicist. He once said "I am the Cinema Novo", paraphrasing Louis XIV's famous quote.
In 1971, during the Brazilian military dictatorial regime, he left the country to a voluntary exile, dwelling in many places, such as Spain, Chile and Portugal. He never completely returned home until his last days, when he was transferred from Lisbon, where he had been receiving medical treatment for a lung infection, to Rio de Janeiro. Rocha resisted in hospital for few days, but ultimately died in August 22, 1981, at the age of 43. He had been married three times and had five children.
1958 O pátio (Short movie)
1959 Cruz na Praça
1961 Sturm (Barravento)
1963 Gott und der Teufel im Lande der Sonne (Deus e o diabo na terra do sol)
1965 Amazonas, Amazonas (Short movie)
1966 Maranhão 66 (Short movie)
1967 Land in Trance (Terra em transe)
1968 Antonio das Mortes (O dragão da maldade contra o santo guerreiro)
1969 Der Löwe mit den sieben Köpfen (O leão de sete cabeças)
1970 Abgeschlagene Köpfe (Cabeças cortadas)
1972 Krebs (Câncer)
1974 História do Brasil
1974 As armas e o povo
1977 Di Cavalcanti (Short movie)
1979 Jorjamado no cinema
1980 Das Alter der Erde (A idade da Terra)
First presented and highly debated at the 1980 Venice Film Festival, this film became the legacy of the late Glauber Rocha, who noted: "A idade da terra (The Age of the Earth) is the decomposition of the narrative sequence without losing the infrastructural discourse that is supposed to materialize the most representative signs of the Third World. The film offers a symphony of images and sound or is an anti-symphony that puts the essential problems into the background. This film can only be classified in this way: He is my portrait next to the portrait of Brazil." More
The action of the movie takes place in the sertao, the desertified Northeast backlands of Brazil, that is traditionally beyond the rule of law, and that was the site of some of most enduring folklore. The sertao is the region of myth, encapsulated by the historical world of progress symbolized by the highway. More
Rocha's film debut: The fishermen in a village in Bahia on the north coast of Brazil have to rent their net from a trader and give up 90 percent of the catch. What's more, the net owner keeps threatening to take their tools away from them. The black community, like two years later in "Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol", does not rebel; they endure exploitation by the white crook in the belief that one day the gods will help it out of their misery. More