Brave New Land

2000

Drama / War

78
IMDb Rating 6.4 10 268

Synopsis


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January 12, 2021

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
948.57 MB
1280*720
Portuguese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
104 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.72 GB
1920×1080
Portuguese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
104 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dmeltz 9 / 10 / 10

an anti-epic

I just saw this film at the 2002 Latino Film Festival in the Bay Area Director Lucia Murat was in attendance and made some comments after the film, among which were that this film is "not an epic...it's an anti-epic". I think this gets it about right. Beautifully filmed, this story is loosely based on historical facts; but very tightly structured around anthropological research into the Guaicuru, a people who once lived in Brazil's Mato Grosso state. The actors portraying the Guaicuru are all modern Kadiweu villagers, descendants of the Guaicuru. The Kadiweu number less than 1000 today, and, according to Murat, face a very uncertain future. Problems of alienation and alcoholism as well as pervasive racism combine to severely limit the horizon of these people of ancient lineage. The film does not portray them as 100% "noble" though we are in no doubt about where our sympathies are to lie. The device of tricking the audience into associating with the Portuguese colonizers is a very effective means to setting up the final climax. Even though the historical events upon which the film are based took place in 1778, Kadiweu elders still have an oral history of them, and this is the basis for the film. How often our histories are written only by the European conquerers. Even though Murat is a white Brazilian, she has done the near impossible--found a bit of living memory of the distant past, and dramatized it to perfection. There is little if any precedent for a film like this, anywhere. Interesting to note is that the Kadiweu people were extensively documented by Claude Lévi-Strauss in his landmark book "Tristes Tropiques" where he said that he thought he would be the last European to see them, as they were clearly headeded for extinction. (Among other things, the women limit themselves to one child, so there is a natural tendency towards decrease in their population. However, since they kidnap children from other tribes their numbers have not declined as much as statistics and Lévi-Strauss predicted.) If you have ever read "Tristes Tropiques" then you will be grateful for this opportunity to travel into the world he documented in the 1930s, and to see how it has survived into today. Dramatized as high art, we also get historical and anthropological research into the origins of not only the Brazilian state, but also by implication of the entire colonial enterprise across many countries and cultures. The artistic choice of not subtitling the Kadiweu dialog contributes to our inevitable association with...ourselves...the descendants of the colonizers. Murat stated that to subtitle the Kadiweu dialog would be forcing an interpretation onto their language...as it is, their language functions musically (amid a backdrop of lush soundscape which for me was one of the highlights of the film) and allows us to feel some of the utter strangeness of the early European experience in the colonial world, while preserving the dignity of the Kadiweu. This film deserves to be seen and I am certain that it will be studied and viewed 50 and 100 years from now, unlike 99% of the other films released in the world today.

Reviewed by awalter1 8 / 10 / 10

Civilized brutality and native vengeance.

In 1778, a Portuguese cartographer and naturalist, Diogo, takes part in an expedition to the interior of South America. Almost immediately, the Portuguese are shown attacking a party of bathing female Guaicuru natives, raping and then killing them. Only two natives are spared: a young white boy who has grown up among the natives and Anote, the woman raped by Diogo. The Portuguese eventually reach a walled mission, and the expedition's captain is berated for endangering the peace treaty Portugal is attempting to establish with the natives. At the mission, Diogo sets about courting Anote, and the threat of Guaicuru revenge seems forgotten by all. "Brave New Land" is both a frequently beautiful and gruesome film created as a tribute to the Guaicuru Indians (portrayed in the film by primarily non-actor natives of the Kadweu tribe). The beauty of the land and of native customs are displayed well, as are the brutality of the Portuguese invaders and the often shocking native rituals. We observe the natives performing ritual bloodletting and learn of their practice of killing all offspring after the firstborn. The latter is done, we are told, because Guaicuru mothers are accustomed to fleeing for their lives at a moment's notice, and they can carry only a single child with them. All such disturbing native practices seem grounded in necessity, unlike the Portuguese brutality. The filmmakers have decided to translate via subtitles only the Portuguese speech, leaving the audience ignorant regarding the content of Guaicuru conversations. This of course casts the audience into an uncomfortable association with the Portuguese. The character the audience is meant to identify with is Diogo. Though Diogo is a rapist and a coward, he also shows a certain tenderness to Anote in some later scenes. Anote, however, forgives him much sooner than the audience will, and here lies the fundamental trouble with the film: The story's conflict is entirely black and white, the audience is forced to dwell on the daily activities of the wrongdoers, and the religious and cultural positions of the Portuguese are heavily manipulated in the service of irony. Films like this which are essentially addressing racism or genocide can often only invoke rage and indignation without achieving a complexity which takes the issue to a new place (as is done, for example, by "American History X"). It could be said that Diogo's character displays at least nominal complexity. However, in truth, Diogo is just as flat and uninteresting as the other Portuguese, and he remains an unsympathetic coward throughout the film. One of the nicest moments in the film is the beautiful frame piece at the end, which does a fine job of defining the story as a document of Guaicuru history. At that moment we can believe that there is real and significant value in this sad tale for the native people of South America, and perhaps now that such a story has been told, surviving tribes like the Kadweu will experience a measure of healing.

Reviewed by mgbruzon 8 / 10 / 10

How South America's "West Was Won

Finally, a South American Western showing the cruel realities of how its West was won. In this case, the film highlights how the Portuguese pushed further west into erstwhile Spanish lands to expand Brazil beyond the Line of Demarcation between Spanish and Portuguese America established by the Pope. The action takes place at the close of the 18th Century. Portuguese nobles, Brazilian-born Creoles (including the New Christians (Converted Jews sent to Brazil to populate the colony), and the Catholic clergy conspired to virtually wipe out Indian tribes, while "Westernizing" the landscape. It's an interesting history lesson, and an entertaining film. It features beautiful landscapes, and a supporting cast composed of many of the surviving "Indians" from the area. Unusual and worth a look.

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