Country: Brazil
Year: 1963
Duration: 125'

Gaucho, a truck driver, arrives in Milagres, Bahia. The place is being besieged by starving peasants who are fleeing from the drought of the sertão. A platoon of soldiers is sent in to put down any possible uprising. An ox is worshipped by the peasants, who see in it a mystical cure-for the drought. Gaucho has to repair his truck. He tries to convince the soldiers to give some food to the peasants before things get out of hand. Unfortunately, they do get out of hand. When the first babies starve to deathi, Gaucho is the one who is the first to rebel and to be killed by the soldiers.

"The original idea was that the film was to be set in Greece. Given that the film is still anti-military, the military intervention was the same. However, things did not happen in the same cultural context, and this changed many things. On the other hand, the character of the truck driver, for example, already existed and remained the same. […] Af the very time when I finished making Os fuzis in 1964, there was a coup d'etat and Goulart was ousted. There was a very difficult political climate. Beside this, I held a privae screening of the film and the Cinema Nôvo people received it very badly. I went to Berlin. When I came back, I found out that the producer thought that the film could not be released commercially and cut it. I refused to sign my approval under those conditions. Everything seemed to cave in. On the one hand, there were my problems with the producer and the bad reputation I earned for insisting on the uncut version of the film. On the other hand, there was the lack of support from the Cinema Nôvo people who had made many objections to Os fuzis." (Ruy Guerra)


film director

Ruy Guerra


& Credits

Director: Ruy Guerra.
Sceneggiatura e soggetto: Miguel Torres, Ruy Guerra.
Director of photography: Ricardo Aronovich.
Art director: Calazans Neto.
Editor: Ruy Guerra, Raimundo Higino.
Music: Moacir Santos.
Cast and characters: Atila Iório (Gaucho), Nelson Xavier, Maria Gladys, Leonidas Bayer, Ivan Candido, Paulo Cesar Pereio, Hugo Carvana, Maurício Loyola, Ruy Polanah, Joel Barcellos.
Production company: Copacabana Filmes, Herbert Richers, Jarbas Barbosa.