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51st Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

Como era gostoso o meu francês

Fortnight 1971, Feature film, 1h40'

Synopsis

In 1594 in Brazil, the Tupinambás Indians are friends of the Frenches and their enemies are the Tupiniquins, friends of the Portugueses. A Frenchman (Arduíno Colassanti) is captured by the Tupinambás, and in spite of his trial to convince them that he is French, they believe he is Portuguese. The Frenchman becomes their slave, and maritally lives with Seboipepe (Ana Maria Magalhães). *Contains Spoilers* Later, he uses powder in the cannons that the Portuguese left behind to defeat the Tupiniquins in a battle. In order to celebrate the victory, the Indians decide to eat him.

Director

Nelson Pereira Dos Santos

Nelson Pereira dos Santos (b. 22 October 1928 in São Paulo) is a Brazilian movie director. He directed movies such as Vidas Secas (Barren Lives), based on the book with the same name by Brazilian writer Graciliano Ramos. He also directed Rio 40°(his first feature film) which was released in 1955. The film is a chronicle of life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and it influenced several other directors, spurring the Cinema Novo moment. His most well-known film outside of Brazil is Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês (How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman, 1971). The film takes place in the sixteenth century and details the alleged cannibalistic practices of the (now extinct) indigenous Tupinamba warrior tribe against the French and Portuguese colonizers of the Brazilian littoral. The film is something of a black comedy about European colonialism—one that makes satirical use of the Brazilian modernist trope of Antropofagia (« cultural cannibalism »), then recently revived by the Tropicalismo movement of the 1960s—as well as a bitter commentary on the historical genocide of the indigenous tribes in Latin America and the gradual destruction of their civilization. Recently, dos Santos has started production on a movie called Brasília 18%, which explores some of the darker aspects of contemporary Brazilian politics such as political corruption, the murder of trial witnesses, and money laundering.

Ana Maria Magalhais
Arduino Colassanti
Eduardo Imbassahy

Screenplay
Nelson Pereira dos Santos

Image
Dib Lufti

Prod : Condor Films SA
Luis Carlos Barreto
138,rua 19 de Fevereiro
Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro

Title in Original Version : Qu'il Etait Bon Mon Petit Français