Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol, translit. God and the Devil in the Land of Sun) is a 1964 Brazilian film directed and written by Glauber Rocha. Considered Rocha’s masterpiece, the movie stars Othon Bastos, Maurício do Valle, Yoná Magalhães, and Geraldo Del Rey. It belongs to the Cinema Novo movement, addressing the socio-political problems of 1960s Brazil. The film is being released on DVD in North America for the first time by Koch-Lorber Films.
The film starts in the 1940s, during another drought in the sertão, when ranch hand Manuel (Geraldo Del Rey) is fed up with his situation. His boss tries to cheat him of his earnings and Manuel kills him, fleeing with his wife, Rosa (Yoná Magalhães). Now an outlaw, Manuel joins up with a self-proclaimed saint who condones violence and preaches disturbing doctrines. It is now Rosa who turns to killing and the two are on the move once again. And so it goes, the two running from one allegiance to another, following the words of others as they attempt to find a place in their ruthless land. Blending mysticism, religion, and popular culture in this symbolic and realistic drama, Rocha insists that rather than follow the external and obscure dogmas of culture and religion, man must determine his path by his own voice.
Glauber Rocha was 25 years old when he wrote and began to direct the film.
In the scene where we see Manuel (Geraldo Del Rey) carrying a huge stone over his head while climbing Monte Santo on his knees, Del Rey insisted on carrying a real stone that weighted over 20 kilos – something that worried Rocha. After the shooting, Del Rey had to take 2 days off, due to fatigue.
During the dubbing of the sound, Othon Bastos performed three voices. Besides dubbing himself as Corisco, he performed the voice for Lampião (whom Corisco had “incorporated”) and also dubbed Sebastião, the black God, even though Lídio Silva played the character on screen.
The film was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival, but failed to win. It has influenced major filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and Sergio Leone (Henry Fonda’s duster in Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West was inspired by the long coat worn by the character Antônio das Mortes in Rocha’s film).
Directed by Glauber Rocha
Produced by Luiz Augusto Mendes & Luiz Paulino Dos Santos
Written by Glauber Rocha, Walter Lima Jr. &Paulo Gil Soares
Geraldo Del Rey
Music by Sérgio Ricardo & Heitor Villa-Lobos
Cinematography Waldemar Lima
Editing by Rafael Justo Valverde
Distributed by Koch-Lorber Films (North America)
Release date(s) July 10, 1964 (Brazil) September 25, 1971 (U.S.)
Running time 120 min. Country Brazil Language Portuguese