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The Films of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

The Conspirators

Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Brazil, 1972, 35mm, 100 min., Portuguese w/ English subtitles

Based on the poem “Romanceiro da Inconfidência” (1953) by Cecilia Meireles, The Conspirators tells the story of the uprising known as the “Inconfidência Mineira,” Brazil’s first attempt at independence from Portugal. When the coup was suppressed, only one of the conspirators – Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (aka Tiradentes) – refused to throw himself on the mercy of the Portuguese crown, becoming a martyr and a mythic figure as a result. Filmed at the height of Brazil’s military dictatorship, The Conspirators traces Tiradentes’ rise and fall, drawing veiled but clear connections between the country’s past and present.

About The Films of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

In collaboration with Kino Lorber, Lightbox presents a retrospective of the work of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, one of the most important figures in the Cinema Novo movement that transformed Brazilian film in the 1960s and ’70s. Andrade’s oeuvre has been overshadowed to some extent by the success of his 1969 masterpiece, Macunaíma, yet his career encompassed four additional features, as well as numerous short films and the hour-long documentary Garrincha: Hero of the Jungle (1963), all of which are remarkable accomplishments that would suffice to establish his place in the pantheon of Brazilian filmmakers.

Hailing from a culturally prominent family in Rio de Janeiro, Andrade grew up in close contact with some of the country’s greatest artists, writers, and scholars. Abandoning his university education to pursue filmmaking, he would soon join in the formally and politically audacious Cinema Novo. Like those of his fellow Cinema Novo-associated filmmakers, such as Glauber Rocha, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Leon Hirszman, Ruy Guerra, and many others, Andrade’s films combined a sophisticated, modernist approach with an uncompromisingly critical, often outrageous, and uniquely Brazilian sensibility that makes his work every bit as vital today as it was when he made it.