Contemporary World Cinema
Director: René Sampaio
Although titled Brazilian Western, Sampaio’s new film is, in practice, much more of a crime/gangster pic, about a young man, João, who moves from the outer provinces to the fast-paced world of the capitol, Brasília. There he gets caught up in the shady world of criminals, and falls in love with the beautiful Maria Lúcia, who wants him to get out of the drug dealing business. On top of this is a love triangle with a man named Jeremiah, who also works to trap João within the criminal underworld.
Sampaio’s film is, above all else, very engaging. While it deals with heavy subjects such as crime, dug dealing and the racially charged landscape of Brazil, Brazilian Western, wears its genre influences right on its sleeve to great effect. Crime mixed with a western, and with an engaging romantic plot to top it all off. It’s a perfect example of what can be done in the realm of pure genre filmmaking, and stands as an enjoyable entry with more to say than the average gangster flick. (Corey Atad)