Nelson Pereira dos Santos

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Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Born (1928-10-22) 22 October 1928 (age 87)
São Paulo, Brazil
Occupation Film director
Years active 1955 - present

Nelson Pereira dos Santos (born 22 October 1928) is a Brazilian film director. He directed films such as Vidas Secas (Barren Lives), based on the book with the same name by Brazilian writer Graciliano Ramos.

Santos was born in São Paulo. The first feature film he directed was Rio 40°, which was released in 1955. The film is a chronicle of life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and it influenced several other directors, spurring the Cinema Novo moment. In 1963, he was a member of the jury at the 3rd Moscow International Film Festival.[1] In 1981 he was a member of the jury at the 12th Moscow International Film Festival.[2]

His most well-known film outside of Brazil is Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês (How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman, 1971). It was entered into the 21st Berlin International Film Festival.[3] The film takes place in the sixteenth century and details the alleged cannibalistic practices of the (now extinct) indigenous Tupinamba warrior tribe against the French and Portuguese colonizers of the Brazilian littoral. The film is something of a black comedy about European colonialism—one that makes satirical use of the Brazilian modernist trope of Antropofagia ("cultural cannibalism"), then recently revived by the Tropicalismo movement of the 1960s—as well as a bitter commentary on the historical genocide of the indigenous tribes in Latin America and the gradual destruction of their civilization.

His 1994 film The Third Bank of the River was entered into the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.[4]

Recently, Santos has started production on a movie called Brasília 18%, which explores some of the darker aspects of contemporary Brazilian politics such as political corruption, the murder of trial witnesses, and money laundering.

Santos belongs to the Brazilian Academy of Letters since 2006.

Selected filmography[edit]


  • Darlene J. Sadlier: Nelson Pereira dos Santos (Contemporary Film Directors), University of Illinois Press, 2003, ISBN 0-252-07112-3


  1. ^ "3rd Moscow International Film Festival (1963)". MIFF. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ "12th Moscow International Film Festival (1981)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  3. ^ " Awards for How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman". Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  4. ^ "Berlinale: 1994 Programme". Retrieved 2011-12-29. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sérgio Correia da Costa
Brazilian Academy of Letters - Occupant of the 7th chair

2006 — present
Succeeded by