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 movement. In 1963, he was a member of the jury at the 3rd Moscow International Film Festival. In 1981 he was a member of the jury at the 12th Moscow International Film Festival.
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. 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.
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.Juventude (1949; short film)
Rio 40 Graus (1955)
Rio Zona Norte (1957)
Mandacaru Vermelho (1961)
El justicero (1963)
Barren Lives (1963)
The Golden Mouth (1963)
Hunger for Love (1968)
The Alienist (1970)
How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (1971)
Quem é Beta? (1972)
The Amulet of Ogum (1974)
Tenda dos Milagres (1977)
A Missa do Galo (1980; short film)
The Highway of Life (1983)
Memórias do Cárcere (1984)
The Third Bank of the River (1994)
Cinema de Lágrimas (1995)
Casa-Grande e Senzala (2000; TV film)
Raízes do Brasil (2003)
Meu Compadre, Zé Ketti (2003; short film)
Brasília 18% (2006)
The Music According to Antonio Carlos Jobim (2012)
A Luz do Tom (2013)