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Series

NELSON PEREIRA DOS SANTOS

April 19 to April 26

Born in 1928 and raised in the then-working-class enclave of Bras in São Paulo, Nelson Pereira dos Santos (his first name was a tribute to the British admiral) grew up with a profound sense of the intimate connection between art and politics. That belief would eventually lead to the creation of his first film, Rio 40° (1955), a sprawling, Altman-esque panorama of life in Rio de Janeiro that in everything from subject matter to film style became a manifesto for a new kind of cinema in Brazil. Throughout his long career, dos Santos was always on the front lines of the major changes in Brazilian cinema—from the Sixties’ Cinema Novo (Vidas Secas or Barren Lives, 1963) to the “underground” aesthetic (Hunger for Love, 1968); from the exploration of popular culture (Tent of Miracles, 1977) to the mediation on and critique of the artist in politics (Memories of Prison, 1984). Yet, whatever his style or subject, the humor, warmth and enormous interest in the lives of those not often depicted in the cinema were qualities that would always define the films of Nelson Pereira dos Santos.

Series co-programmed and program notes by Richard Peña. Special thanks to Ivelisa Ferreira and Marcia Pereira dos Santos, Regina Filmes, Marcelo Pedrazzi, Afinal Filmes and Kathy Geritz, Pacific Film Archives.