1 January 2009 | claudio_carvalho
Human Relationships, Greedy, Brutality and Jealousy
In the São Bernardo Farm, Viçosa, Alagoas, the violent eighteen year-old Paulo Honório (Othon Bastos) is arrested after stabbing João Fagundes, who had flirted with his lover Germana. He spends three and half year in jail, where he learns how to read and write; then the greedy Paulo returns to the hard work with the hoe and trading, but also lending money and charging high interests, accumulating capital. He takes the São Bernardo Farm from Luiz Padilha (Nildo Parente), who owed him money, and he uses his henchman to kill his neighbor Mendonça and resolve a demarcation of land issue. Paulo Honório becomes a wealth farmer exploring his workers and during a trip by train, he meets Dona Glória (Vanda Lacerda) and later her twenty-seven year-old niece Madalena (Isabel Ribeiro). She is a teacher in a nearby village, but Paulo convinces her to marry him without love and move to São Bernardo, His life is completely affected with her behavior, helping the people explored by him. Paulo considers her communist and his brutal and jealous behavior kills Madalena, and Paulo Honório questions his life in the end.
"São Bernardo" is a famous novel of the Brazilian writer Graciliano Ramos where human relationships, greedy, brutality and jealousy are disclosed through dense characters in an environment of the capitalism of the North and Northeast countryside of Brazil. Paulo Honório is the self-made man exploring his "animals" meaning the local people while Madalena is a woman with culture and social concerns. This low-paced movie was awarded with many prizes and in addition to the ones listed in IMDb, it also won: "Coruja de Ouro (1973)" (best director Leon Hirszman; best supporting actress Vanda Lacerda; best costume designer Luiz Carlos Ripper; best set decoration Tulio Costa; and Quality Award INC); "Air France Award" (1973) (best film; best director Leon Hirszman; best actor Othon Bastos; best actress Isabel Ribeiro) and "Embrafilme" (best film based on novel of Brazilian writer). My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "São Bernardo"