BUCCANEER SOUL (Alma Corsaria) (director/writer: Carlos Reichenbach; cinematographer: Carlos Reichenbach; editor: Cristina Amaral; music: Carlos Reichenbach; cast: Bertrand Duarte (Rivaldo Torres), Jandir Ferrari (Teodoro Xavier), Andrea Richa (Anesia), Mariana de Moraes (Eliana), Flor (Verinha), Jorge Fernando (Magalhaes), Roberto Miranda (Prophet), Abrahão Farc (Suicide), Amazyles de Almeida (Olga), Roberto Miranda (Prophet), Paulo Marrafão (Oscar), David Ypond (China); Runtime: 116; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Sara Silveira/Donald Ranvaud/Carlos Reichenbach; Facets Video; 1993-Brazil-in Portuguese with English subtitles)
“A uniquely told vision of growing up to be an intellectual.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Brazilian filmmaker Carlos Reichenbach is writer-director of this fascinating non-linear drama that is told in both a nonrealist and surrealist way. It tells the tale of childhood friends Rivaldo Torres (Bertrand Duarte), a poor intellectual, and Teodoro Xavier (Jandir Ferrari), a wealthy intellectual. It’s autobiographical, capturing a sense of modern history in Brazil. Reichenbach’s imaginative style begs comparison to noted filmmakers such as Jean Luc-Godard and Raul Ruiz.

Torres encounters a man attempting to jump off a bridge and stops him. The Sao Paulo man takes the suicidal man (Abrahão Farc) along with him to a snack-bar run by his friend China (David Ypond), where Torres and Teo are throwing a book party to celebrate their collaboration on their latest poetry book “Western Sentiment.” The film turns into a collage of past events from the authors’ lives, beginning in 1957 when they first met as children. It features a mixture of flashbacks and present events centering on their personal growth, interest in films, political awakenings, the chaotic revolutionary Sixties, and their love interests. Characters from the book come in and out of the party that’s been arranged by literary agent Magalhaes (Jorge Fernando) and mostly paid for by Teo’s businessman father. The most diverting tale is about the sexy prostitute Anesia (Andrea Richa), who arrives at the party and causes Torres to recall how he met her and the time her pimp talked him into pretending to be her fiancé as she visited her farm-working country parents who though she worked in a factory in Sao Paulo.

It’s a uniquely told vision of growing up to be an intellectual that is lushly photographed; it offers a strange look at the turbulence of modern Brazil through its literature, cinema and music.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”