Country: Brazil
Year: 1962

A man named Zé do Burro keeps a vow by distributing his land to the poor and by carrying a cross on his shoulders until he gets to the church of Santa Barbara in Salvador. However, when he gets up to the big church doors, Zé is stopped by its curate, who does not want to let him come in. In fact, Zé made his vow to Iansã, a saint of African origins that has little to do with the church. The situation becomes more and more complicated, and becomes a public issue. The police step in and Zé is accidently hit by a bullet. In this way, he enters the church dying, stretched out on the cross.

"A truly Brazilian film that tells the story of a real situation. In a moment of confusion and transportation the church should adapt itself, modify itself, and model itself to the new situation. O pagador turns out to be a work of exhaultation of the church and a political lesson." (Jean-Claude Bernadet)


film director

Anselmo Duarte


& Credits

Director: Anselmo Duarte.
Screenplay: Anselmo Duarte, Dias Gomes.
Plot: dalla commedia omonima di Dias Gomes.
Director of photography: Chick Fowle.
Art director: José Teixeira de Araújo.
Editor: Carlos Coimbra.
Music: Gabriel Migliori.
Cast and characters: Leonardo Villar (Zé do Burro), Glória Menezes, Dionísio Azevedo, Norma Bengell, Geraldo Del Rey, Roberto Ferreira, Othon Bastos, Gilberto Marques, Carlos Torres, Antonio "Pitanga" Sampaio, Milton Gaúcho, João Desordi, Irenio Simões.
Production company: Oswaldo Massaini, Cinedistri.