Thursday, December 3, 1998

Brecht and Cinema

Glauber Rocha's Der Leone Have Sept Cabecas (The Lion Has Seven Heads)

San Francisco Art Institute

The 4th in our 5-part series of films influenced by Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)

Glauber Rocha, one of the most acclaimed directors of Brazilian Cinema Novo, is known for his stylized political allegories attacking and demystifying colonial and neocolonial power structures. Der Leone Have Sept Cabecas, shot in Congo in 1970, is his fifth feature and a self-proclaimed dialogue with Eisenstein, Brecht, and Godard. Partially inspired by the Apocalypse of St. John and composed of a series of vignettes and declamatory scenes steeped in symbolism, it depicts the savagery and callousness of white colonialism over the centuries. “It is anti-imperialist. It is revolutionary. It cries and screams openly because intimacy is not the language of revolutions. Pure reason is a privilege of oppression, but it is through the dialectics of violence one can reach lyricism. …The Lion is a film made for the Third World” (Glauber Rocha)