The most prominent movement in Latin American film history in the past century, Cinema Novo (“New Cinema” in Portuguese) is a film movement that rose to prominence in Brazil during the 1960s and 1970s, noted for its emphasis on social equality and intellectualism. It was formed in response to class and racial unrest both in Brazil and the United States.

Influenced by Italian neorealism and French New Wave, films produced under the ideology of Cinema Novo opposed traditional Brazilian cinema, which consisted primarily of musicals, comedies and Hollywood-style epics.

Cinema Novo should not be confused with Novo Cinema (sometimes also referred to as “Cinema Novo”), a film movement that arose in Portugal between 1963 and 1974.

Black God, White Devil
Black God, White Devil

Winner of the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival’s Best Documentary, the new (and very rare) feature documentary on the movement titled Cinema Novo is a film essay that poetically investigates the eponymous Brazilian film movement, the most prominent in Latin America in the past century, through the analysis of its main auteurs: Nelson Pereira do Santos, Glauber Rocha, Leon Hirszman, Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Ruy Guerra, Cacá Diegue, Walter Lima Jr, and Paulo César Saraceni, among others.

Icarus Films has acquired of all North American rights to Eryk Rocha’s documentary on the Brazilian film movement, an intricately edited film that combines film clips from the major works of the Brazilian Cinema Novo movement and period interviews with its leading filmmakers, including the above-mentioned auteur filmmakers, as well as Glauber Rocha (father of the documentary’s director Eryk Rocha), and singer Ava Rocha, whose music is featured in the film.

These notable, although mostly unknown (in the USA) filmmakers pushed boundaries with aesthetically bold films that used non-professional actors and low-budget production techniques to tackle social issues; films include Black God, White Devil, and Ganga Zumba (photo at the top), both previously highlighted on this blog, as well as Barren Lives and Iracema.

Icarus has set a September 19, 2017 release date for the film.

The distribution agreement was signed by Jonathan Miller, Icarus Films, and Sandro Fiorin, FiGa Films.

Watch a trailer for Cinema Novo below: