The Films of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

Garrincha: Hero of the Jungle

Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Brazil, 1963, 35mm, 60 min., b&w, Portuguese w/ English subtitles

Andrade’s feature debut is a documentary portrait of a celebrated soccer player who owes his wondrous abilities to his peculiar physiology – one of his legs is bent inward and the other curves outward. Moving in strange ways, with broken rhythms, the film is divided into roughly three sections: a celebration of soccer itself, weaving moving images and stills into a stream of impressions that at times verges on abstraction; a direct-cinema style look at Garrincha’s daily life and his celebrity; and a study of the player’s performance in Brazil’s back-to-back World Cup final wins, with Garrincha upstaged by star striker Pelé in 1958 and stricken with fever and blending in with his teammates in 1962 – another hero swallowed up. “One of the greatest films ever made about soccer.” — Olaf Möller, FILM COMMENT

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.