About Black God White Devil
The film tells the story of a man and a woman, who killing a man, flee into the Sertao, Brazil’s badlands, and there get caught up, first with a religious fanatic and then with a group of bandits. Flinching uncompromising in its use of hand held cameras, seeking black and white phtogography, and haunting Brazilian folk ballads composed by Sérgio Ricardo, Glauber Rocha created a veneer of deliberate amateurism, which rejected prevalent Western filmmaking conventions of the time as he attempted to launch a new kind of Brazilian cinema, cinema novo. The film was nominated for the 1964 Palm d’Or.
“The most beautiful thing I have seen in a decade – filled with poetic savagery”
Lecturer in English, University of Exeter
Benedict Morrison is a lecturer in English literature and film at the University of Exeter. He is currently working on a monograph on inarticulate film form, mapping out alternative critical approaches to cinematic incoherence. He hopes to pursue research into modes of queerness in Brazilian cinema.