Bye Bye Brazil
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(Apr 17, 2007)
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Top Customer Reviews
The journey is a sad one as it in part traces the ecological damage being done to Brazil by rapid industrialization and the damage done to the small backwoods towns and to the native Brazilians -- the "Indians." But it is always an interesting story because it also traces the emotional development of a young man with an obsessive love complex into a mature young family man. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, Ph.D. sociology
Bye Bye Brazil is Carlos Diegues's 1979 metaphorical goodbye to a country in the process of extinction. Exotic, exuberant, and often very moving, it is a mixture of primitivism and progress, social commentary dressed up as a comic bon voyage to old Brazil (and Old World entertainment) where TV, sex, disco and booze are fast squeezing out the simple miracles of life. Beautifully directed by Diegues and with music by Chico Buarque, Caravan Rolidei with its festively painted 2 ton truck rolls across the backlands of Brazil capturing real people and places of the time. Be amazed as Gypsy Lord makes it snow so Brazil is just like all the great first world nations. Listen as he reassures the poor campesinos that there is a place where it's always green and the young never lose their strength. In the end Gypsy Lord and Salome the Rhumba Queen (who, Ladies and Gentlemen, has slept with American Presidents!) drive off to Altamira as the sun rises yet again on command. Para Vigo Me Voy!
And what is that? The tv! Where they see the dreaded tv antennas, they know it's time to move on. So they do.
This is a very touching film about the trials and tribulations of being a travelling performer--a tough life, but one that they would never give up. I can't imagine any of these people holding down an ordinary job. So naturally, I came to empathize with them to a surprising degree. By the end, they all seemed like old friends of mine.
The movie is in Portuguese with optional English subtitles. Be warned, that there are a few scenes which are quite sexually explicit.
The plot takes place in the 1970s and follows a small traveling circus that has been very successful in poorer towns where there is not television. A poor accordionist and his pregnant wife join them. Soon, they begin losing a lot of business as most of the country is modernizing, and almost everyone is getting television, losing interest in circus shows. Without spoiling too much of the plot, I'll say that I really liked the ending, but the rest of the film was mediocre in my opinion. I'd say it's still worth the watch for those curious about Brazilian culture in 1970s and it's modernization, or those learning Portuguese.
Roger Ebert gave out far more four-star reviews than I give five-star reviews (he rated on a four-star scale). I have always assumed this is because Ebert saw more movies in a year than I see in five, and had been doing it for decades longer by the time I started being a critic. But four-star films was still a pretty small ratio to all films, and also still, some of the films to which he gave four stars I find utterly mystifying. The most recent befuddling Ebert four-star pick to cross my eyes is Carlos Diegues' 1979 absurdist drama Bye Bye Brasil. I've seen the film referred to as Bergmanesque; I didn't get that at all. To me, there's an aspirant-Jodorowsky feel to the movie, but Diegues (Orfeu) doesn't delve as far into the magical-realist world as does Jodorowsky, nor are his characters as finely-honed; I get the feeling often, watching this, that Diegues wanted his characters to be as nuts as those in El Topo (or, with the benefit of hindsight, Santa Sangre), but that he was also trying to keep one foot firmly grounded in the real world. That's a delicate balance. To Ebert, obviously, and other reviewers who sing the film's praises, Diegues managed that balance well. I didn't think so.
Plot: Ciço (Fábio Júnior in his only feature appearance; he has been working steadily in television since the early seventies) is young, footloose, and stuck with his family and pregnant wife Dasdô (Kabbalah's Zaira Zambelli) on a rural Brazilian dust farm.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We went to see this based on Siskel and Ebert's review and loved it. I still recall that magical scene with the snow! So pleased it is on DVD - can't wait to watch it again!Published 20 months ago by Leslie
Carlos Diegues made a poignant and sincere homage to the costumes and ancient traditions his country, which slowly are missing. Read morePublished on May 31, 2013 by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
So interesting to see a film depicting the life, traditions, habits and ways of living and earning a living as well as the culture.Published on May 21, 2013 by E T LAMMING
I don't understand how people rated this movie high! It has nothing absolute waste of time...Published on November 9, 2008 by M. ravasizadeh
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