To the Left of the Father

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To the Left of the Father
To the Left of the Father.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Luiz Fernando Carvalho
Produced by Luiz Fernando Carvalho
Maurício Andrade Ramos
Donald K. Ranvaud
Written by Luiz Fernando Carvalho
Based on Lavoura Arcaica by Raduan Nassar
Starring Selton Mello
Raul Cortez
Juliana Carneiro da Cunha
Simone Spoladore
Leonardo Medeiros
Caio Blat
Music by Marco Antônio Guimarães
Cinematography Walter Carvalho
Video Filmes
LFC Produções
Raquel Couto Produções
Distributed by RioFilme
Running time
165 minutes
Country Brazil
Language Portuguese
Box office R$874.018[1] ($372.520)

To the Left of the Father (Portuguese: Lavoura Arcaica) is a 2001 Brazilian drama film directed, written and edited by Luiz Fernando Carvalho, based on the novel of the same name by Raduan Nassar.[2][3][4]

Plot summary[edit]

The story concerns a young man, André (Selton Mello), whose ideas are radically different from his father's (Raul Cortez). The father predicates order and restraint, which enhance his own power under the mantle of family love. The son seeks freedom and ecstasy, challengingly signified, in the film, through his incestuous passion for his sister Ana (Simone Spoladore). When the son leaves home on the farm and moves to a seedy boarding house, his older brother Pedro (Leonardo Medeiros), is asked by their mother (Juliana Carneiro da Cunha) to bring him back. His return, however, will completely shatter the family's confining life.



Aiming to maintain the connection with the poetic prose of Raduan Nassar's book, Luiz Fernando Carvalho elected to film without a defined script, based entirely on the actors' improvisations on the theme. This involved intensive coaching of the cast, secluded on a farm for four months.[5][6][7][8] The film's creation and production process was discussed in the book About To the Left of The Father ("Sobre Lavoura Arcaica"), in which the director is interviewed by José Carlos Avellar, Geraldo Sarno, Miguel Pereira, Ivana Bentes, Arnaldo Carrilho and Liliane Heynemann, launched in Portuguese, English and French by the publisher Ateliê Editorial.[9]


It was success with the critics[10][11][12][13] and the public, reaching 300 thousand viewers with just two copies, one in Rio de Janeiro and the other in São Paulo.

Critical response[edit]

It is considered one of the 100 best brazilian films of all times, according to the Brazilian Film Critics Association (Abraccine).[14] In the opinion of writer and psychoanalyst Renato Tardivo, author of Porvir que vem antes de tudo – literatura e cinema em Lavoura Arcaica, the film is one of the most important works of Brazilian cinema “of all times”.[15] The critic Carlos Alberto de Mattos described it as the first work of art of the Brazilian cinema in the 21st century.[16] The film was acclaimed by the critics of various countries and, according to the French magazine Cahiers du Cinéma, To the Left of the Father is a "barbarous poem verging on hallucination, of extraordinary power".[17][18][19][20]


It had a successful career in a number of national and international festivals, receiving over 50 awards at the Montreal World Film Festival,[21][22] the Rio Film Festival, the São Paulo International Film Festival, the Grand Prix for Brazilian Film, the Brasília Film Festival,[23] the Havana Film Festival,[24] the Cartagena Film Festival,[25] the Guadalajara International Film Festival, the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema,[26] among others.


  1. ^ "Filmes Brasileiros Lançados - 1995 a 2012" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Ancine. p. 29. Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ Hugo Sukman (28 October 2001). "Um cineasta que está entrando para o clube dos poetas". OGlobo. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Hugo Sukman (28 October 2001). "Um cineasta que está entrando para o clube dos poetas". OGlobo. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Daniel Piza (22 August 2001). ""Lavoura Arcaica" estréia sábado no Canadá". Estado de S. Paulo. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  5. ^ José Geraldo Couto (14 August 2005). "Mergulho em Raduan Nassar conduz a pequena obra-prima" (in Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Marcelo Coelho (14 November 2001). "'Lavoura' e os indícios de uma obra prima". Folha de S. Paulo. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  7. ^ Tiago Mata Machado (23 October 2001). "Em "Lavoura Arcaica", Carvalho faz retrato do tempo". FolhaOnline. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Inácio Araújo (15 November 2001). "Longa é exceção exemplar no cinema do país". Folha de S. Paulo. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  9. ^ Luiz Fernando Carvalho (2002). "Sobre Lavour’Arcaica – O filme". ISBN 85-7480-140-2. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  10. ^ Luciano Trigo (28 October 2001). "Uma colheita esplêndida". RioShow. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  11. ^ José Geraldo Couto (24 September 2001). "Filme radicaliza linguagem". Ilustrada/Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  12. ^ Daniel Piza (25 November 2001). "Convulsões". O Estado de S. Paulo. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  13. ^ Diego Batle (11 May 2002). ""Luiz Fernando Carvalho, talento made in Brasil"" (in Spanish). La Nacion. 
  14. ^ André Dib (27 November 2015). "Abraccine organiza ranking dos 100 melhores filmes brasileiros". Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  15. ^ Tardivo, Renato Cury (2009). Porvir que vem antes de tudo: uma leitura de lavoura arcaica - literatura, cinema e a unidade dos sentidos. Universidade de São Paulo (USP). 
  16. ^ Carlos Alberto de Mattos (25 November 2001). "Festival do Rio: Lavoura Arcaica". Estado de S. Paulo. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  17. ^ Jean-Philippe Tessé (2003). "Les pieds dans la terre" (in French). Cahiers du Cinema (edição 581). p. 85. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  18. ^ Jean-Philippe Tessé (6 July 2003). "Critique:A La Gauche du Père" (in French). Chronicart. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "Critiques:A La Gauche du Père" (in French). AlloCiné. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  20. ^ Didier Peron (9 July 2003). "Pére de touts les vices. Relecture saisissante d'un monstre de la littérature brésilienne" (in French). Liberácion. Retrieved 22 May 2017. 
  21. ^ "Montreal premia a ousadia de "Lavoura Arcaica"". Estadão. 5 September 2001. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  22. ^ "16 Awards of the Montreal World Film Festival 2001". n.d. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  23. ^ "Brasília celebra "Lavoura" e "Samba"". Folha de S. Paulo. 29 November 2001. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  24. ^ ""Lavoura" ganha prêmios em Havana". Folha de S. Paulo. 15 December 2001. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  25. ^ ""Lavoura Arcaica" ganha Festival de Cartagena". Folha de S. Paulo. 11 March 2002. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  26. ^ Ana Bianco (1 May 2002). "Una metáfora sobre los que no tienen lugar en la mesa social" (in Spanish). Página 12. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 

External links[edit]