How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman
(Como era gostoso o meu francês)

Director in Person
Screening on Film
$12 Special Event Tickets
Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos.
With Ana Maria Magalhães, Arduíno Colasanti, José Kleber.
Brazil, 1972, 35mm, color, 84 min.
Portuguese with English subtitles.

In keeping with Cinema Novo’s reappropriation of Brazilian culture from its Western absorption, dos Santos travels to the colonial crime scene of 16th century Brazil. A French Huguenot is captured by the Tupinambá and participates in their culture for several months prior to his planned execution. This insider/outsider perspective – similar to that bestowed upon anthropologists and documentary filmmakers – is one of many methods dos Santos uses to constantly undermine and call into question narrative authority. No particular character, sex or culture emerges more “savage” than the other, no single point of view directs the action, and no heroes or other cinematic tropes lay claim to the audience’s sympathies. Using a naturalistic verité camera and interspersing actual historical texts, dos Santos crafts a thoroughly subversive reevaluation of “official” histories and mythologies. In the face of subjects who utterly defy objectification or total comprehension, the audience is forced into actively engaging with that which they wish to consume.

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