DirectorJoaquim Pedro de Andrade Release dateNovember 3, 1969 (1969-11-03) Based onMacunaima
by Mario de Andrade WriterJoaquim Pedro de Andrade, Mario de Andrade (novel) Music directorHeitor Villa-Lobos, Macale, Orestes Barbosa, Sylvio Caldas, Antonio Maria CastGrande Otelo (Macunaíma), Paulo José (Macunaíma/Mãe de Macunaíma), Milton Gonçalves (Jiguê), Rodolfo Arena (Maanape), Jardel Filho (Venceslau Pietro Pietra), Dina Sfat (Ci) Similar moviesHow Tasty Was My Little Frenchman, Black God, White Devil, Barren Lives, Entranced Earth, Antonio das Mortes, The Guns
Born a fully grown black man in a village in the Brazilian jungle, Macunaima (Grande Otelo) later magically transforms into a white man (Paulo Jose) before making an adventure-filled trip to the city of Sao Paulo. Once there, he becomes something of a dandy, falling in love with Ci (Dina Sfat), a revolutionary who dies in an accidental bombing. After robbing a ruthless industrialist, Macunaima returns to his village where he finds his newly acquired knowledge and possessions of little use.
Macunaima is a 1969 Brazilian comedy film directed by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, based on Mario de Andrades novel of the same name. It was released in a dubbed version for American audiences in 1972 by New Line Cinema. On June 13 and July 12, 2005, European and Latin American syndicates of the TV5 network aired the film in its original Portuguese with French subtitles. It was rereleased internationally in 2009.
Macunaíma is a lazy anti-hero born black in Amazonas. After the death of his mother, he moves with his two brothers to Rio de Janeiro, but along his journey, he baths in a fountain and becomes Caucasian. Once in Rio, he incidentally meets the killer guerrilla woman Ci, who wears an amulet made of stone, and they fall in love for each other. They live together and a couple of months later, Ci delivers a black baby. While carrying a bomb for a terrorist attack in the stroller, the bomb explodes and Ci and the baby die, and the amulet vanishes. A very strong man finds the stone and Macunaíma tries to recover it. In the end, he returns to the jungle.
Based on the 1928 book by Mario de Andrade, the modern-day parable follows the misadventures of a black man (Grande Otelo) who is miraculously born to an old woman (Paulo Jose), who is supposed to be of the indigenous peoples of Brasil, in the jungles of the Amazon. Though born fully-grown, he has the heart of a playful child. After the death of his mother, he comes face to face with a spring that turns him white (Paulo Jose). With that change, he and his two brothers move to Rio de Janeiro, but are interrogated by street terrorists upon their arrival.
Then, thanks to an affair with a white lady, guerrilla killer Ci (Dina Sfat), the films hero fathers a black boy (Grande Otelo) with her. When both mother and child die, he embarks on a quest to recover a magical stone from a rich city dweller. In this film, the essentialist myth of the 3 Brazilian races, white, black, and the original natives of Brazil, is supposed to be represented through the protagonist, his brothers, and his mother.
Throughout his adventures, Macunaima learns some tough lessons about Brazilian life and society. Macunaima functions as an allegorical representation of the turmoil of the Brazilian military coup that had ensued.
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976). Rodolfo Arena appears in Macunaima and Xica. Hugo Carvana and Jardel Filho appear in Macunaima and Entranced Earth. Barren Lives (1963). Maids (2001).