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Running to Find Time

by Eliana Nzualo


Cinema Novo

The documentary Cinema Novo, by Eryk Rocha, juxtaposes several works that came out of the movement in film of the same name during the 1960s.

The film, in black and white with some segments in color, is an ode to the movement that defined a period of significant change.

In the first third of the film we see characters from different films, all on the run. They run to and fro, as if in a hurry to get somewhere: through beaches, arid hinterlands, a samba show, small towns. Always in movement. Where they are going, we do not know.

It was in this way, born and raised on its own, that the cinematic style Cinema Novo was developed.

Cinema Novo was –and still is – about running, fighting, galloping in the direction of something. The style defined a time of rupture, violence, freedom, justice. Cinema Novo, which is somewhere between historic and legendary, sought to make Brazil real again.

Through lenses of the past and the present, we see the complexities of human relationships as they are constrained by inequalities of class, race, geography and opportunity.

The documentary gives us a behind-the-scenes view of the creative forces in Brazil during that time. Later, we hear the voices of some who lived through that time, including Walter Lima Jr, Nelson Pereira dos Santos and Glauber Rocha, the director’s father.

The ongoing dialogue between Cinema Novo the movement and Cinema Novo the film has a sense of urgency about not losing what is in the past.

Time has joined us.



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