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Behind the Sun (2002)
Director: Walter Salles
José Dumont, Rodrigo Santoro, Rita Assemany, Luiz Carlos, Vasconcelos, Ravi Ramos Lacerda,
and Flavia Marco Antonio

92 minutes
Friday 8th March 2002
12 cert camera
Film: Behind the Sun
Behind the Sun
"Behind the Sun" is a intense and dramatic family saga set in South America. This film could hardly be anything other than classy. Based on a novel by Albanian author Ismail Kadere, the action was originally based in the Balkans.
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Movie - Top Ten

In the Brazilian badlands of 1910, two families are locked in a blood feud over ownership of a sugar plantation. Death is as inevitable as the sun rising over the desert landscape, so when his brother Inacio is slaughtered by the neighbouring Ferreira clan, Tonio (Santoro) has little choice but to avenge the Breves family's honour with another tit-for-tat killing.

A brief respite from this vicious circle comes in the unlikely form of two travelling circus performers - beautiful trapeze artist Clara (Marco Antonio) and her watchful brother Salustiano (Carlos Vasconcelos). Egged on by his young brother Pacu (Ramos Lacerda), Tonio experiences a world free from hatred, violence and filial obligation. But with his own death warrant effectively signed, can he break the cycle of violence before he becomes its latest victim?

Full of poetic imagery, dazzling photography and heartfelt performances from a mostly unknown cast, "Behind The Sun" is old-style melodrama at its best. Only a mawkish and overly sentimental conclusion mars a compelling fable that is rich enough to overcome anyone's aversion to subtitles.

In Portugese with English subtitles.

"Behind the Sun" is in UK cinemas on Friday 8th March 2002.

Reviewed by Neil Smith, BBC Films

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