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Behind the Sun [DVD] [2002] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

Dispatched from and sold by passionFlix UK.
Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Language: English, Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000640VQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 397,563 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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By A Customer on 15 Sept. 2005
Format: VHS Tape
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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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.
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Format: VHS Tape
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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