(The Blindman Who Shouted Light)
Dir: João Batista de Andrade
74 min., 35mm, 1:1.66, Color
Produktion: Raiz Produções Cinematogrßficas. Buch: João Batista de Andrade. Kamera: Jorge Monclar. Musik: Fernando Andrade. Ausstattung: Vinicius Andrade. Schnitt: Cristina Amaral. Ton: José Luiz Sasso.
Darsteller: Tonico Pereira, Roberto Bomtempo, Carmen Moretzsohn, Luciano Porto, Murilo Grossi.
Uraufführung: 30.9. 1996, Festival de Brasilia.
Weltvertrieb: Grupo Novo de Cinema, Rua Marechal Niemeyer 24, Rio de Janeiro. Tel. (55-21) 539 15 38, Fax: (55-21) 537 2898.
Thu 20.02. 11:00 Delphi Thu 20.02. 18:30 Kino 7 im Zoo Palast
The murder was part of a bloody struggle between two real estate agents who fought over land at the lake. Some time ago, one of them had settled a number of homeless people at the banks of the lake in order to lay a claim on free land. Their leader, Pedro, was able to exploit the rivalry between the two agents to the advantage of his people until an explosion occured. His son Olavo lost his sight. The blind man fell in love with Helena, his sister's girlfriend. One day, both girls were clubbed to death at the bank of the lake. The only witness was the blind man.
Question: You haven't made a film since 1987. After almost ten years, how do you feel shooting a film again in Brazil?
João Batsita de Andrade: It's like coming back from a long dive, in search of air. After so many years without shooting, it occurred to me I would never make a film again and that O Pais dos Tenentes (The Lieutenants' Country) would be my last full length film. Evidently I didn't stop imagining new films and writing screenplays, but in my inner self there was a growing disbelief, maybe proportional to the loss I experienced in 1990, when I lost my film Vlado which was already an international co-production with Portugal and Spain and whose financial resources had been blocked by the Collor Government. This is why I am coming back, as if I were feeling my way, like someone who is looking for his space again within the Brazilian Cinema. It is very nice to see many new people doing films, but at the same time it is rather strange, as if I had hibernated during years and woken up in the future, just like you see in films... My present film O CEGO QUE GRITAVA LUZ (The Blind Man Who Shouted Light) should reflect this, an unaffected film which stresses the storyteller side of my personality, as someone who is searching again for the truthful narrator, a search that, by the way, is in the central character of the film, the old storyteller who seems to be telling other's people's stories, but that might be telling his own story.
Question: How did it occur to you to film this story? Why in Brasilia?
J.B.d.A.: The idea came to me as a feeling, the idea of a character lacking his main sense, his sight, and with an important truth which he was unable to reveal. (...) When I was writing the story I discovered that there was a need of another character, the main one, that is, the character who is captivated by the story of the blind man.
In the beginning I imagined the story in the scenery by an unearthly lake, where the land would be disputed by powerful real estate agents and a boy is blinded by a bomb during an invasion of squatters. But in reality, I think I have always thought about Brasilia, about the lake, so close to power and at the same time so far, at the mercy of small and big conflicts, with the miserable and the powerful fighting over land and power.
Question: Why is the blind man in the title and not the storyteller?
J.B.d.A.: That is an interesting question. It is because the idea came to me through the blind man. I have the impression I created the character of the old man to be in my place, for him to be the narrator, to allow me a minimum of distance. Old Dimas took hold of the situation, he made me discover something important: the pleasure of telling a story, enhancing a certain craftiness which I know I have and enjoy immensely. The basic feature of the film is the pleasure of narrating. The narrator has his slyness, his wisdom, his ability to attract, to entice, to draw away, to create false clues, to dissimulate, in short, to stimulate the curiosity and the imaginative capacity of his listeners.
Question: Was the presence of an actor like Tonico Pereira important in this role?
J.B.d.A.: Absolutely. In my opinion the whole cast has done a very good job in the film, but it is obvious that the main character is the storyteller and Tonico Pereira is terrific, fortunately for me, for the film and for the public who will be delighted (and laugh) with his all-embracing interpretation. The film needed this approach, because Tonico's character, besides being a storyteller, is that of a man with a personal story which he tries to dissimulate all the time, a past whose discovery is part of the plot of the film. (...)
Question: The film deals with social problems. Do you believe that films can change people?
J.B.d.A.: It is difficult not to believe in this. I think that everything you do in life helps you to carry your life ahead. I have no militant outlook, nor am I a revolutionary in cinema. I would never do a film full of ideas to which I feel no affinity. Everyone knows about my political ideas. The important issue for me is that the film reveals not so much my convictions, which are very few, but my doubts and weaknesses. This is why the story told by old Dimas is a story of political defeat and he himself makes digressions about his own weakness and the defeat of many of his dreams.
João Batista de Andrade was born on December 1st, 1939 in Ituiutaba/Minas Gerais. He graduated from the Polytechnic School in São Paulo with a degree in engineering, then worked as a writer and filmmaker. He made his first short film, O lixo, in 1963. In 1966 he made a documentary about the freedom of the press: Libertade de Imprensa. In the 1970s he directed socially committed reports and documentaries for ,O Globo', Brazil's largest broadcasting company. Subsequently, he made documentaries for the Metal workers' union in São Paolo.
1969: Gamal, o Delírio do Sexo (Beitrag zum ,schmutzigen Kino'). 1970: Paulicéia Fantßstica (ebenfalls ,schmutziges Kino'). 1978: Doramundo. 1978: Wilsinho Galiléia. 1980: O Homem Que Virou Suco. 1983: A Próxima Vítima (Forum 1985). 1985 Céu Aberto (langer Dokumentarfilm). 1987: O País dos Tenentes. 1996: O CEGO QUE GRITAVA LUZ.
© 1997 by International Forum of New Cinema. All rights reserved.