In the sertão of the Northeast, Fabiano, his wife Sinha Vitoria, their two children, their female dogs Baleia and their parrot move abotil persecuted by the draught. Their fatigue make them desperate. Sinha Vitoria goes as far as to kill the parrot. And Fabiano thinks of killing his elder son when he refuses to keep going on their wandernigs. With the winter and its rain, things get better. Fabiano works for a farmer and asks him for every fourth calf as pay. He gets into a fight with a soldier during a party in the village. He is beaten bloody and taken to prison. There Fabiano meets a cangaçeiro. He gets out and joins his family. And life continues. The draught returns. The pastures dry up. The livestock is decimated. And Fabiano decides to go off again...
"Vidas Secas is fundamental step towards succeeding in presenting the Brazilian man on the screen. It is a realístic treatment of the social and moral condition of man in Brazil. Before this, Fabiano did not exist as a man, as a person. For him, it is an effort to exist. And the film is a sorrowful meditation on the chance of becoming a man in Brazil." (Jean-Claude Bernadet)
Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Plot: dal romanzo omonimo di Graciliano Ramos.
Director of photography: José Rosa, Luiz Carlos Barreto.
Editor: Rafael Justo Valverde.
Music: Leonardo Alencar.
Cast and characters: Atila Iório (Fabiano), Maria Ribeiro (Sinha Vitoria), Orlando Macedo, Jofre Soares, i bambini Gilvan e Geninvaldo, il cane Baleia.
Production company: Herbert Richers, Luiz Carlos Barreto, Danilo Trelles.