The discovery of last year's Sestri Levante Festival of Latin-American films was a Brazilian film, Barravento, first feature by a new director of great promise. The documentary element is strong in this description of the life of fishermen in a province of Brazil. It is a denunciation of the exploitation of the fishermen, and the role of Macumba, that weird mixture of Christianity and African tribal religion, so powerful in the Bahia province and which is used to keep the subjugated. At the same time the director vividly records the Macumba ritual. Some of the strength of the film comes from the complexity of the director's response to his subject. He conveys the powerful attraction of Macumba on the simple natives and makes the dilemma of the hero, caught in the conflict of the old and new forces in Brazil, fully credible.
The photography is rich and expressive and the forceful passage of the story are aptly counterpointed from time to time by scenes of intense lyrical beauty.