O Pagador de Promessas
|Keeper of Promises
(O Pagador de Promessas)
Original poster in Portuguese
|Directed by||Anselmo Duarte|
|Produced by||Francisco de Castro
|Written by||Dias Gomes (play)
|Music by||Gabriel Migliori|
|Editing by||Carlos Coimbra|
|Distributed by||Cinedistri (Original release)
Globo Vídeo (Re-release)
Lionex Films Inc. (USA)
|Release dates||March 24, 1964 (New York City, USA)|
|Running time||98 minutes|
Duarte, who was also one of the film's producers, adapted the screenplay himself from the famous stage play written by Dias Gomes. It won the Palme d'Or at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first (and to date the only) Brazilian film to achieve that feat. A year later, it also became the first Brazilian and South American film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Zé do Burro (Leonardo Villar) is a landowner from Nordeste. His best friend is a donkey. When his donkey falls terminally ill, Zé promises to a Candomblé orisha, Iansan, that if his donkey recovers, he will give away his land to the poor and carry a cross all the way from his farm to the Saint Bárbara Church in Salvador, Bahia, where he will offer the cross to the local priest. Upon the recovery of his donkey, Zé leaves on his journey. The movie begins as Zé, followed by his wife Rosa (Glória Menezes), arrives outside the church. The local priest (Dionísio Azevedo) refuses to accept the cross once he hears about Zé's "pagan" pledge and the reasons behind it. Everyone attempts to manipulate the innocent and naïve Zé. The local Candomblé worshippers, for example, want to use him as a leader against the discrimination they suffer from the Roman Catholic Church. The sensationalist newspapers transform his promise to give away his land into a "communist" call for land reform (which still is a very controversial issue in Brazil). When Zé is shot by the police to prevent his way into the church, the Candomblé worshippers put his dead body on the cross and force their way into the church.
- Leonardo Villar as Zé do Burro (Donkey Jack)
- Glória Menezes as Rosa, Zé's wife
- Dionísio Azevedo as Olavo, the priest
- Geraldo Del Rey as Bonitão (Handsome)
- Norma Bengell as Marly, the prostitute
- Othon Bastos as the Reporter
- Antônio Pitanga as Coca, the capoeira player
Awards and nominations
- Palme d'Or – Anselmo Duarte (won)
- Special Jury Prize – Anselmo Duarte (won)
- Golden Gate Award for Best Film – Anselmo Duarte (won)
- Golden Gate Award for Best Musical Score – Gabriel Migliori (won)
- List of submissions to the 35th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Brazilian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- The title translates literally as The Payer of Promises, but the film has been known by several other names in the Anglosphere, such as Keeper of Promises, The Given Word and The Promise.
- "Festival de Cannes: O Pagador de Promessas". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
- "The 35th Academy Awards (1963) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-11-01.