Carlos Diegues's historical saga is a stirring fusion of folklore, political impact, and dynamic storytelling, realized in vibrant tropical colors and set to the pulsing beat of Gilberto Gil's musical score. The story derives from fact: in 17th-century Brazil, groups of runaway black slaves escaped to the mountainous jungle strongholds, where they formed self-governing communities known as quilombos. This film is the chronicle of the most famous of these Black Eldorados - Palmares—which flourished for several decades under the reigns of legendary chieftains Ganga Zumba (also the subject of Diegues's first film) and his militant successor Zumbi, withstanding numerous attempts by the Portuguese colonial government to exterminate it. Set on the borderline between history and legend, between the mountains and the sky, Quilombo is a powerful vision of paradise - sensual, robust, and quite distinct from its milder Christian counterparts - and Diegues invigorates his Utopian ideal with tough political questions; rousing, larger-than-life performances (including Xica's fiery Zezé Motta as a formidable woman warrior); fabulous, exotic scenery; and spectacular blood-and-thunder battle scenes.
Dir. Of Photography
JOAO FELICIO DOS SANTOS