Skip to main content

TENT OF MIRACLES

Brazil, 1977 (MIFF 1978)

Director: Nelson Pereira dos Santos

A prominent American sociologist arrives in Brazil praising the work of a man long dead and forgotten, Pedro Arcanjo. The American regards Arcanjo as the world's greatest sociologist. Local newspapers and television stations immediately try to find out who this man was.

They go back through their files attempting to reconstruct his life and achievements. They discover that he lived in the early nineteenth century and worked at a university. He was a mulatto who wrote a controversial book on the origins of the black and mulatto people of Brazil.

He put forward the theory that the way to world peace was miscegenation, an idea violently opposed by the rulers of Brazil. He was expelled from the university and jailed. Arcanjo is shown to have been persecuted for his ideals by a racist government and to have suffered for his relationships with white women. Tent of Miracles traces the origins of racial attitudes in Brazil and contrasts them, by constant cuts, with the experiences of the present.

See also...

HOW TASTY WAS MY LITTLE FRENCHMAN?

In sixteenth century Brazil, a Frenchman is caught by a cannibalistic tribe of Indians. When he demonstrates his skill with firearms, they decide to spare his life so that he can train them in the ... More »

MEMORIES OF PRISON

Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos, the founding figure of South American 'cinema novo', Memories of Prison has been hailed as the greatest Brazilian film of recent years. And like his early ... More »

ginga

Brazil's great secret for dominating world football is hardly a secret at all. Brazilian football players have 'ginga' - a fluid style of movement that raises ball skill to an art form. Ginga is not ... More »

TO THE LEFT OF THE FATHER

Gazing right into the heart of human suffering and yearning, To the Left of the Father probes the dark side of the universal parable of the Prodigal Son. The lens moves in on a migrant Lebanese ... More »

Golden Gate (Palace II)

Golden Gate tells a gripping story of two kids living in one of the most violent favelas in Rio de Janeiro. All they want is some pocket money to go to a concert. This beautifully produced film ... More »

BUS 174

On June 12, 2000—Brazil's Valentine's Day—Sandro do Nascimento held up a bus in Rio de Janeiro's largest public park in broad daylight, taking the passengers hostage.Television crews ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director