In Memory of Eduardo Coutinho

Twenty Years Later: A Man Marked to Die

Cabra Marcado para Morrer

- BRAZIL / 1984 / Portuguese / Color, B&W / Blu-ray (Original: 35mm) / 119 min

Director: Eduardo Coutinho
Assistant Director: Vladimir Carvalho
Photography: Fernando Duarte, Edgar Moura
Editing: Eduardo Escorel
Music: Rogério Rossine
Narration: Ferreira Gullar, Tite de Lemos
Executive Producers: Leon Hirszman, Zelito Viana
World Sales: Mapa Filmes

[Notes] The original Cabra Marcado para Morrer, directed by Coutinho in 1964, intended to tell the story of peasant leader João Pedro Teixeira, who was murdered at the behest of landowners, using peasants as actors in a fiction film inspired by real events (João Pedro’s widow, Elizabeth, played herself). The 1964 military coup halted shooting and some peasants and crew members were arrested. Seventeen years later Coutinho returned to the area to reestablish contact with the characters. Fiction becomes documentary, but a new kind, crafted around the unfinished film, with no script or preconceived idea.

It is a complex montage piece intertwining the filmmaker’s first person memories with an impersonal voice-over by poet Ferreira Gullar giving “objective” figures and dates to situate and articulate different archive material—surviving original footage of the first film found in a lab; press archive material; and interviews from 1981 with the peasants of the original crew about their life in the 1960s, the impact of the political turn, and their memories of the film.

Hailed as a watershed work, it encapsulates Brazilian cinema's relationship with politics in the 1960s and ’70s via different procedures: it dialogues with Brazil’s tradition of social documentary, with modern documentary aesthetics, and with TV reporting strategies. At the close of the most vigorous period of Brazilian cinema up until then, the film was marked by modern cinematic tradition, and articulated the aesthetic dimension in an inventive and heterogeneous manner while also incorporating national political issues.

Almost thirty years after the film’s 1984 release, Coutinho returns to look for Elizabeth Teixeira and the peasants in Sobreviventes de Galiléia and A família de Elizabeth Teixeira—the last works he edited before his death in 2014. We see how this family’s tragic fate exposes Brazilian social violence, and how the director never ceased to be haunted by a family that crossed his life from start to finish of his trajectory as a filmmaker.

Consuelo Lins (Film Researcher)

Elizabeth Teixeira’s Family

A família de Elizabeth Teixeira

BRAZIL / 2014 / Portuguese / Color / Blu-ray / 64 min

Galileia’s Survivors

Sobreviventes de Galileia

BRAZlL / 2014 / Portuguese / Color / Blu-ray / 27 min

Director: Eduardo Coutinho
Photography: Alberto Bellezia
Editing: Jordana Berg
Sound: Valeria Ferro
Production Companies: VideoFilmes, Instituto Moreira Salles
Source: Instituto Moreira Salles

- Eduardo Coutinho

Born 1933 in Sao Paolo. Eduardo Coutinho studied law, drama, and journalism. Although extremely close to the filmmakers of Brazil’s cinema novo, it was in his forties that he began making films in earnest. Coutinho not only had a huge influence on Brazilian film, but he is one of the foremost Latin American documentary directors. His many works include Twenty Years Later: A Man Marked to Die (1984), Master—A Copacabana Building (2002), and As Cançoes (2011). Coutinho was an International Competition juror at YIDFF ’91. He passed away in 2014.