Glauber Rocha

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Glauber Rocha
Born(1939-03-14)14 March 1939
Died22 August 1981(1981-08-22) (aged 42)
OccupationFilm director
Years active1959 – 1981
Spouse(s)Helena Ignez (1959-1961)
1967 Entranced Earth
Prix de la mise en scène:
1968 Antonio das Mortes
Special Jury Prize for Best Short Film:
1977 Di

Glauber de Andrade Rocha (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈglawbeɾ d͡ʒi ɐ̃ˈdɾad͡ʒi ˈʁɔʃɐ]) (14 March 1939 – 22 August 1981), better known as Glauber Rocha, was a Brazilian film director, actor and screenwriter. He was one of the most influential moviemakers of Brazilian cinema and a key figure of Cinema Novo. His films Black God, White Devil and Entranced Earth are often considered to be two of the greatest achievements in Brazilian cinematic history,[1] being selected by Abraccine as, respectively, the second and fifth best Brazilian films of all-time.[2]

Rocha's film possess a staunch avant-garde and experimental nature, making of him a seminal figure of the new wave. His works are noted for their many political overtones, often addressing the passive-aggressive situation of the Third World, which Rocha referred to both metaphorically and objectively as "hunger" in his essay Estética da Fome (The Aesthetics of Hunger). Rocha won the Prix de la mise en scène at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival for Antonio das Mortes and the 1977 Special Jury Prize for Best Short Film for Di. Three of Rocha's films were nominated for the Palme d'Or, including Entranced Earth, which was awarded the FIPRESCI at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival and the Grand Prix of the Locarno Film Festival of the same year.


Rocha was born in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil and moved with his family to Salvador when he was only 9 years old, there studying in a well-known 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. A member of the Brazilian radical left, he helped start a political party in the late 1950s that called for an anti-capitalist people's revolution and, among other things, advocated the abolition of money.

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 famous for his film trilogy, made up of Black God, White Devil (1964) - perhaps his most acclaimed movie, nominated for the Golden Palm - Entranced Earth (1967) and Antonio das Mortes (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 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",[3] paraphrasing Louis XIV's famous quote. In an interview with Le Monde, Rocha said "My Brazilian films belong to a whole period when my generation was full of wild dreams and hopes. They are full of enthusiasm, faith and militancy and were inspired by my great love of Brazil."[4]

In 1969 he was a member of the jury at the 6th Moscow International Film Festival.[5] In the following year, Rocha made a brief appearance in the Dziga Vertov Group film Wind from the East. After refusing an invitation by Jean-Luc Godard to shoot a segment of the film, Rocha appeared as a man in a crossway pointing the direction of the political cinema, namely, the Cinema Novo.[6]

In 1971, during the Fifth Brazilian Republic, he left the country to a voluntary exile, dwelling in many places, such as Spain, Chile, and France, eventually relocating to the Portuguese Riviera, with the help of his friend, Portuguese filmmaker, Manuel Carvalheiro.[7] 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 on August 22, 1981, at the age of 42. He had been married three times and had five children.


dagger Indicates a documentary double-dagger Indicates a short film
List of films directed by Glauber Rocha
Year Original title English release title(s) Language(s) Notes
1958 Cruz na Praça double-dagger Unfinished silent short film. Lost.
1959 Pátio double-dagger Terrace Silent
1962 Barravento Barravento / The Turning Wind Portuguese
1964 Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol Black God, White Devil Portuguese
1965 Amazonas, Amazonas dagger Portuguese Short documentary on the Amazonas state in Brazil.
1966 Maranhão 66 dagger Portuguese Short documentary on José Sarney's inaugural address as governor of Maranhão state in Brazil and its poor people's harsh life conditions.
1967 Terra em Transe Anguished Land / Land Entranced / Land in Anguish / Entranced Earth Portuguese
1968 1968 dagger Portuguese Short documentary on the March of the One Hundred Thousand.
1969 O Dragão da Maldade Contra o Santo Guerreiro Antonio das Mortes Portuguese French-Brazilian-German-American co-production
1970 Der Leone Have Sept Cabeças Der Leone Have Sept Cabeças, The Lion Has Seven Heads Portuguese, French, German, English Brazilian-Italian-French-Congolese co-production.
1970 Cabezas Cortadas Cutting Heads Spanish Spanish-Brazilian co-production.
1972 Paloma, Paloma dagger Portuguese A diary of a trip filmed by Glauber in Punta del Este that documents the reunion of the Rocha family.
1973 História do Brasil dagger History of Brazil Portuguese Co-directed with Marcos Medeiros. Cuban-Italian co-production. Documentary on the history of Brazil.
1975 Claro Italian, French, English Italian production.
1975 As Armas e o Povo dagger Portuguese Collective film. Directed with Alberto Seixas Santos, António da Cunha Telles, Eduardo Geada, José de Sá Caetano and José Fonseca e Costa. Portuguese production. Documentary on the 1974 Carnation Revolution.
1977 Di dagger Portuguese Also known as Di Cavalcanti and Di-Glauber. Short documentary on Di Cavalcanti during his wake and burial.
1977 Jorge Amado no Cinema dagger Portuguese Also known as Jorjamado and Jorjamado no Cinema. Short documentary on Jorge Amado.
1980 A Idade da Terra The Age of the Earth Portuguese
1982 Câncer Cancer Portuguese Filmed between 1968-1972.
2015 A Vida É Estranha dagger Portuguese Co-directed with Mossa Bildner. Filmed in 1973. Short documentary on Rocha and Bildner's trip to Essaouira city in Morocco.


On art:

  • "Art is not only talent, but mainly courage"
  • "Art is as hard as love"
  • "Every artist should be crazy and ambitious"
  • "The artist's goal is to outrage"
  • "The camera is an object that lies"
  • "Cinema Novo is the creative synthesis of Brazilian international popular cinema."
  • "Cinema Novo stood with the Brazilian utopia. Whether it is ugly, irregular, dirty, confusing and chaotic, it is, on the other hand, beautiful, shining and revolutionary."

On politics:

  • "The revolutionary truth lies within the minorities"
  • "Dreaming is the only right one cannot forbid"
  • "The State is stronger than the poet"
  • "Stronger than anything is the people's power"
  • "This country needs poets"

On himself:

  • "I'm a single peasant from Vitória da Conquista"
  • "I'm very famous and pretty poor"
  • "You're all misunderstanding my madness!"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tose, Juliano. "contracampo – revista de cinema" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2008-02-06.
  2. ^ "Abraccine organiza ranking dos 100 melhores filmes brasileiros" (in Portuguese). 27 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. ^ Sidney Rezende :: Livros Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^
  5. ^ "6th Moscow International Film Festival (1969)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  6. ^ Rocha, Gauber (31 January 1970). "Godard's latest scandal". Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Ventura, Zuenir. (2005). Minhas histórias dos outros. São Paulo, SP: Planeta. ISBN 85-7665-076-2. OCLC 61162208.

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