Bye Bye Brazil (1980)

CARLOS DIEGUES

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

Original title:  Bye Bye Brasil

France/Brazil/Argentina, 1980. Screenplay by Carlos Diegues, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by , , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by Anisio Medeiros.  Film Editing by Anisio Medeiros, .  

Traveling players come through a dusty village in Brazil and catch the eye of a poor young man with a pregnant wife.  He convinces the troupe to hire the couple to join their band (he plays the accordion), him gradually falling in love with the female star of the group while his patient wife makes no complaints.

The group itself finds itself struggling to keep afloat thanks to the fact that audiences prefer to stay home with their televisions instead of watching live performances; with each new place they go they keep a look out for the antennas that spell doom.

A bittersweet tale told in a minor key, highlighted by appropriately tacky musical numbers and a lot of honesty, this one succeeds because of the appeal of the performers and because its allegorical charting of the corporate destruction of Brazil and the Amazon forest is related with enough subtlety.

Not a riveting film, but a thoughtful one that you won’t regret.

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

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