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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars behind the sun, a truly exquisite film
This film is a visual feast; the cinematography is utterly exquisite and even without a storyline, I would have been transfixed throughout. Walter Salles (Central Station, Motorcycle Diaries) is fast becoming one of my all time favourite screen directors. This is a tale of family honour, pointless revenge, brotherly love, hopeless division, 'an eye for an eye until...
Published on 9 Oct. 2008 by S. L. Wilkinson

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1.0 out of 5 stars Meh
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE foreign movies, I love anything different, epic or even tragic. I had high hopes for this and parts were quite good, however I don't know exactly why but overall this movie bored the pants off me! I gave it away to a charity shop.
Published 6 months ago by Nell Gwynn


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars behind the sun, a truly exquisite film, 9 Oct. 2008
By 
S. L. Wilkinson (Shropshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Behind The Sun [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film is a visual feast; the cinematography is utterly exquisite and even without a storyline, I would have been transfixed throughout. Walter Salles (Central Station, Motorcycle Diaries) is fast becoming one of my all time favourite screen directors. This is a tale of family honour, pointless revenge, brotherly love, hopeless division, 'an eye for an eye until everyone is blind,' says little Pacu. An age old family feud separates the two families and determines that their beautiful sons perish, one by one. Tonio, (Rodrigo Santoro) is trying to seek love and reason (as well as finish his chores) before his time is up - when the blood stain turns yellow in the wind and he will be hunted down. Set in 1910, in the desert landscape of the Brazilian Northeast, it is 'the middle of nothing' - a place called the Stream-of-Souls. But there's no stream, says the travelling circus when it passes by one day. "No, the stream has all dried up; all that's left here are the souls,' replies little Pacu.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art, 13 July 2013
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In Abril Despedaçado (renamed 'Behind the Sun' for the English-speaking world), Walter Salles has created a masterpiece. His inspiration came from the novel Broken April by Albanian author Ismail Kadaré, but Salles set the story in the hot, arid Brazilian Sertão during the early part of the Twentieth Century. The pace of the film is often slow, to match the searing sun. The cinematography is simply wonderful and the harsh -- and sad -- story and setting draw you in and keep your interest throughout. Salles' use of colour and lighting enhance immensely the story, and the imagery he creates is sometimes beautiful (even in the many cases where the setting is stark). The soundtrack is perfect and really enhances the mood of the film. I find the scripts of some Brazilian films unsophisticated (I'm referring to the original Portuguese, not just the subtitles), but that is certainly not the case with this film, as the scriptwriting is good. The storyline revolves around a blood feud between two farming families, a phenomenon not unknown in Brazil's North East in those days (and later, for that matter), especially in the Brazilian Interior. I suppose in some ways it could be compared to the brutal US Wild West. I'm not going to spoil the film for you by telling you any more about the story, but it's visceral and illustrates the spartan, gruelling lifestyle of most inhabitants of the Interior during that time. After watching the film some seven years ago I recently purchased this DVD to see if the film was as good as I remembered. I was not disappointed, and I can recommend it highly. The language track is Portuguese but this Region 1 DVD has English subtitles (which, unlike some releases, thankfully can be disabled if you speak Portuguese). The format is Widescreen (2.35:1) enhanced for 16:9 televisions.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Sun, 15 Sept. 2005
By A Customer
This film set in the bleak badlands of Brazil is a searingly sad story of loyalty and love. It is not overly dramatic but is told 'quietly' leaving a much deeper impression of the mouorning of lost sons and the underlying anger of an ongoing feud. If it doesn't have you in tears by the end you have no heart... and rodrigo santoro is beautiful!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Brazilian Badlands Never Looked Better...., 27 Aug. 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Behind The Sun [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Walter Salles, whose film this is, also directed Central Station, one of my all-time favourite films - and one on a few director's top 10 lists also. Along with his excellent biopic The Motorcycle Diaries, I rate Salles a world-leading director.

So, when renowned and respected film critic David Parkinson was rather short with his praises, I didn't want to believe him. He said of under all the beautifully shot landscapes and evocative images, the whole lacked emotional depth. At times, it does seem that the star is the cinematography and a bit more rawness might make the characters more approachable and real.

The story itself is a fairly savage one, one of feudal dispute that ritually ends in a seemingly sacrificial death, between neighbours, over land. Set against the early 1900's production of sugar cane molasses, we have the 20 yr old Tonho,(Rodrigo Santoro) son of a farmer (Jose Dumont) who is condemned to die if he carries out a feudal pact. His younger brother, known only as 'the kid', helps knit the story together and as a cheeky youngster keeps it fresh and approachable, often with a naive fantasy element that helps with the otherwise heavy-ish subject matter.

When a beautiful young circus trapeze artist rolls into town, Tonho embarks on a journey of sexual and self discovery with her and this becomes a nicely distracting theme of the film until it finally changes tack and back to the original story.

I could have given this five stars - the storytelling and the aforementioned imagery could warrant that alone but it is quite a bit down on the other two Salle's works I referred to at the beginning. However, if you like a good story, presented in a quite straightforward but beautiful way, that involves people living in semi poverty but always hoping for a better life, then this could be for you. Add the unusualness of its raw, rural Brazilian landscapes and some touches of directorial flourishes along with the genuinely superb photography, then this makes it even more appealing.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood feud in the Brazilian badlands, 26 April 2004
Set at the beginning of the 20th Century this story tells the story of twofamilies involved in a deadly feud over land ownership. To resolve theproblem the eldest son of each family must take it in turn to kill theeldest son of the other family until there is no-one else left to kill. It is up to the youngest son of one of the families, Pacu, to break thecycle of violence & end the feud. This is a tragic tale which will haveyou crying by the end no doubt.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Sun, 12 Jan. 2010
By 
R. A. Starczewski "r1ckster" (surrey/england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Behind The Sun [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Behind the Sun is a film about pride, honour, poverty and sacrifice & how these emotional states are intrinsically linked. Without giving too much away there's an extraordinary scene in which the 'hero' is given permission to enter the room of the rival family as they are mourning over the murdered body of one of their own. The film also provides a reminder to a not that long ago period when folk never left their village & are unaware of what the outside world is like even if the other world is only 10 miles away. The only link between these satellite universes is a passing circus act on their way to the next venue. The members of whom provide a window to a more exotic & far less regimented way of life.

Aside from the powerful story there are strong visual images and I like the way the beginning of the film is cleverly linked to the conclusion.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Meh, 16 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Behind The Sun [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE foreign movies, I love anything different, epic or even tragic. I had high hopes for this and parts were quite good, however I don't know exactly why but overall this movie bored the pants off me! I gave it away to a charity shop.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Sun, 16 April 2010
By 
James M-C (Warden Bay, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Behind The Sun [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
A harsh and stark film both in the scenery and the characters, but ultimately moving in its version of the futility of human life, and the wharping of morality that occurs when family honour is so mis-valued! Classily shot. Excellent!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 30 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Behind The Sun [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Beautifully filmed and emotive acting by all concerned. A sad story of a simply family feud and the honour which blinds their logic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars such a nice movie - but be worn it is not easy ..., 26 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Behind The Sun [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
such a nice movie - but be worn it is not easy to watch. The conflicts would make you feel uncomfortable. I do not want to spoil anything.
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Behind The Sun [DVD] [2002]
Behind The Sun [DVD] [2002] by Walter Salles (DVD - 2002)
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