Bye Bye Brazil

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Bye Bye Brazil
Bye Bye Brasil.jpg
American release poster
Directed by Carlos Diegues
Produced by Luiz Carlos Barreto
Lucy Barreto
Written by Carlos Diegues
Leopoldo Serran
Starring José Wilker
Betty Faria
Fábio Jr.
Zaira Zambelli
Music by Chico Buarque
Roberto Menescal
Cinematography Lauro Escorel
Edited by Mair Tavares
L. C. Barreto
Distributed by Embrafilme
Release date
  • 1979 (1979)
Running time
100 minutes
Country Brazil
Language Portuguese

Bye Bye Brazil[1][2] (Portuguese: Bye Bye Brasil) is a 1979 Brazilian-French-Argentine film, directed by Carlos Diegues.

Locations for the film include Belém and Altamira in the state of Pará, Maceió, the capital of Alagoas and the national capital Brasília.


The "Caravana Rollidei", is a traveling show made up of a magician Lord Gypsy, the exotic dancer Salomé, and the mute strongman Swallow drive their van into a small town along the Rio Sanfransico. They perform in the town, afterwards a local accordion player, Cico, begs Lord Gypsy to let him join them, and Lord Gypsy does. They then go to Masio to see the ocean, and completely fail to find any business.

The caravan leaves town, bringing with them Cico and his pregnant wife Dasdô. They arrive at the next town only to find everyone watching a television in a public area. After attempting and failing to convince the audience to stop watching, Lord Gypsy pretends to use magic to blow up the TV (Its actually just Salome overloading a circuit breaker ). The townspeople then force them to leave.

At a gas station, Swallow arm wrestles a truck driver for money as part of a bet. After losing multiple times, the truck driver tells Lord Gypsy that he has come from Altamira, which he describes as a new El Dorado, a place of riches where no one can spend their money. Driving into a small town, they learn from another traveling performer who screens films that the town has not received rain in over two years. The traveling performer tells the group that the community has no money, and that they pay to watch his films with food, drink, and other odd possessions. As the sun sets, Cico enters Salome's tent with lust in his eyes. Salome proceeds to put on her record player and the two make love. Dasado is aware of the whole encounter, and while she is clearly not pleased with Cico, she doesn't seem very upset either. Lord Gypsy then decides to take the group to Altamira.

On the drive, Dasado gives birth. As the group navigates through dense jungle with a long, straight dirt road, the camera focuses on a dead armadillo on the side of the roadway. The armadillo, in combination with dying trees in the backdrop, give the viewer a sense that the jungle is slowly dying due to the white man's presence.

The Caravana Rollidei finds a group of Indians who ask for a ride to Altamira. They cannot make a living in the jungle anymore because of the white men bringing change and death. Lord Gypsy agrees to take them for a price. Upon arriving at Altamira, they find that the city is actually highly developed and is not rural like they previously believed. Attempting to earn money, Lord Gypsy has Swallow wrestle another strongman, betting the troupes truck. Losing the bet and their mode of transportation, Lord Gypsy asks Salome to go work as a prostitute.

That night, Swallow leaves the group, and Lord Gypsy has sex with Dasado. The next morning, Salome comes back with money from working as a prostitute. Lord Gypsy splits the money, and tells Cico to leave with his wife. Cico refuses to leave, after which Lord Gypsy explicitly tells him they are going to a whorehouse. Cico volunteers Dasado to work in the whorehouse without so much as asking her, and Lord Gypsy tells him he will have to tell his wife.

Upon arriving in the next town, and ending up at a bar, a man tries to go out with Dasado. Cico stops him, and pushes him away. Salome ends up going and having sex with the man, and Cico states that he will take the bus down Brasilia with Dasado. The next morning however, he is outside Lord Gypsy and Salomes hotel room. He states that he won’t go to Brasilia, and confesses his eternal love for Salome.

Lord Gypsy however, finally loses his patience with Cico, and punches him multiple times, knocking him out, and wheels him out and onto the bus. Cico and Dasado end up taking the bus down to a small home in Brasilia.

Some time later, we see Cico and Dasado performing onstage in a small club with a band. Cico hears the sound of a loudspeaker, and goes outside to see a new Carnival Rollidei van, a much more modern car with neon lights, driven by Salome with Lord Gypsy in the passenger seat. Lord Gypsy asks Cico and Dasado to rejoin them, and tells him that they are going inland to bring civilization, telling them that the innermost area has never seen anything like them. Cico declines however, and Lord Gypsy returns to the van, and he and Salome drive off along a highway.



Bye Bye Brasil was listed as one of the top 10 Brazilian films by Glauco Ortolano of World Literature Today.[3] The New York Times noted that it was “a most reflective film, nicely acted by its small cast and beautifully though not artily photographed in some remarkable locations.”[1] The film has been described as a kind of "Seismological documentary … registers the cultural aftershocks of the Brazilian Subcontinent."[4] The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.[5] The film was also selected as the Brazilian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 53rd Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Canby, Vincent (September 27, 1980). "Bye Bye Brasil is concerned with the future". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ Scheib, Ronnie (September 7, 2006). "Review: ‘The Greatest Love in the World’". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ Ortolano, Glauco; Julie A. Porter (Oct–Dec 2003). "Brazilian Cinema: Film in the Land of Black Orpheus". World Literature Today. 77 (3): 19–23. doi:10.2307/40158169. 
  4. ^ Barreto, Lucy; Carlos Diegues (Winter 1980–1981). "Bye Bye Brasil". Cinéaste. 11 (1): 34–36. 
  5. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Bye Bye Brasil". Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  6. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

External links[edit]