Behind the Sun (film)
|Behind the Sun
original film poster
|Directed by||Walter Salles|
|Produced by||Arthur Cohn|
|Written by||Ismail Kadare (novel)
João Moreira Salles
Vinícius de Oliveira
Ravi Ramos Lacerda
Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos
|Music by||Ed Cortês
|Editing by||Isabelle Rathery|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista International
|Release dates||12 December 2001
May 1, 2002 (Brazil)
|Running time||105 minutes|
Behind the Sun (Portuguese title: Abril Despedaçado) is a 2001 Brazilian film directed by Walter Salles, produced by Arthur Cohn, and starring Rodrigo Santoro. Its original Portuguese title means Shattered April, and it is based on the novel of the same name (original Albanian title: Prill i Thyer) written by the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare, about the honor culture in the North of Albania.
The year is 1910; the place, the badlands of Northeast Brazil. Twenty-year-old Tonho is the middle son of an impoverished farm family, the Breves. He is next in line to kill and then die in an ongoing blood feud with a neighboring clan, the Ferreiras. For generations, the two families have quarreled over land. Now they are locked into a series of tit-for-tat assassinations of their sons; an eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth. Embedded in this choreography of death is a particular code of ethics: "Blood has the same volume for everyone. You have no right to take more blood than was taken from you." Life is suffused with a sense of futility and stoic despair.
Under pressure from his father, Tonho kills one of the Ferreira sons to avenge the murder of his older brother. This act marks him as the next victim. Tonho's younger brother is addressed only as "the Kid" by the family. Anticipating future loss, his parents don't give him a name. The Kid is an imaginative and loving child, whose spirit will not break in the face of harsh parenting, brutalizing isolation, and numbing poverty. The Kid's love encourages Tonho to question his fate. When Tonho meets Clara, a charming itinerant circus girl, all of life's possibilities open up for him.
The film is narrated by "The Kid" who is later given a name by Clara and her stepfather, the traveling circus performers. They call him "Pacu" and he spends the whole film narrating which ultimately drives the viewers to identify and allows the film to humanize the characters.
- José Dumont as the father
- Rodrigo Santoro as Tonho, the eldest son
- Rita Assemany as the Mother
- Ravi Ramos Lacerda as Pacu
- Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos as Salustiano
- Flávia Marco Antonio as Clara
- Everaldo Pontes as Old Blind Man
- Caio Junqueira as Inácio
- Mariana Loureiro as Widow
- Servilio De Holanda as Isaías
- Wagner Moura as Matheus
- Othon Bastos as Mr. Lourenço
- Gero Camilo as Reginaldo
- Vinícius de Oliveira as "the Kid"
Family- Tonho is driven by his family and only wants to please his father in this endless land-battle. His approval by the family and wanting to continue on tradition, because this is all he knows, is proven when he avenges his older brother's death. By wanting to escape this battle, he attempts to elongate his younger brother's life, however, he's too late.
Love- The act of love in this film is powerful. Seeing the way Tonho interacts with Clara, Pacu tries to emulate his brother so he can live happily ever after. Love plays an important role in this film by distinguishing the different characters and what they stand for.
War- This endless family land battle is a symbol of how change and progress are not made within early 20th century Brazil. War allows the viewers to understand tradition in Brazil during this time period. The land battle signifies the ability to adapt and change is not happening any time soon.
Awards and nominations
- Best Foreign Language Film (nominated)
- Best Director – Walter Salles (won)
- House of the Americas Award – Walter Salles (won)
- Little Golden Lion – Arthur Cohn and Walter Salles (won)
- Golden Lion – Walter Salles (nominated)
- Official site (English, French and Portuguese)
- Abril Despedaçado at the Internet Movie Database
- Official US site by Miramax