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Ferrua, Pietro

O Pão negro. Um episódio da Colônia Cecília

A film by Valêncio XAVIER

Sunday 31 August 2003

Brazil, 1993

BW & color, 37 minutes.

In Portuguese with no subtitles.

Assistant Directors:

Andreia Berte, Denilson do Nascimento, Andrey Possebon, Luciano Walbach, Melkissa Castelano;

EDITING & SOUND : Jussara Locatelli;

CINEMATOGRAPHY : Alberto Melnechuki, Dimitri Kozeniakin, Massao Ishida, Osiris Guimarães;

SETTINGS : Valêncio Xavier;

PRODUCERS : Celina Alvetti, Cynthia Schneider.


Chico Nogueira,

Sonia Moreira,

Milton Camargo Jr.,

Manoel Carlos Karan and others.



One is dubious, at first, to see in the credits that the film is financed by the State of Paraná (in Brazil) and that the Military Police is also thanked. It would be an error, however, to see in this a negative bias. State money is people’s money paid through taxes, then it is one of the cultural and artistic departments that sponsored the project, the "Museum of Images and Sound". As far as police is concerned, they are probably thanked (and why not, objectively speaking?) for directing traffic during the filmng. What counts is the result, and this is highly positive.

The film develops on several levels:

Interviews of descendants of the initial members of the "Colônia Cecília". Among them Oreste Agotani and Carlos Carzino Neto. The camera, moreover, shows us the numerous Italian names of stores presumably founded by the inhabitants of the collective, after they disbanded;

Photographic materials, anarchist newspaper titles (mostly in Italian) printed in Brazil at the end of the 19 C.;

Excerpts from newsreels and even from long feature films;

Last but not least, a staged portion with the creation of characters. One of them is Errico Malatesta (played by Manoel Carlos Karan) who bears a certain resemblance with the noted Italian anarchist.

Then we have Eleda (beautiful Sonia Moreira) at first the companion of Aníbal (Milton Camargo Jr.) who falls in love with Giovanni Rossi (Chico Nogueira).

Giovanni Rossi

This is meant to illustrate the question of free love among anarchists. An attempt of explaining the failure of the experiment is attributed to the theft of the cattle, of the common monetary funds, to the jealousy of immature husbands, etc. a different conclusion than the one reached by Jean-Louis Comolli in his LA CECILIA. The two films should be shown together and if we don’t do it in our series it is just because of the lack of subtitles. Each feature would enhance the other.

The soundtrack is comprised of Verdi’s melodies as well as by a very nice "Cecília" song (sung by Jussara Locatelli) and hymns of the Italian people.

A curiosity, one of the voice overs is that of Ozualdo Candeias, well known in Brazil for his vampire films. Curitiba, perhaps we should underline it, is home to the famous writer Dalton Trevisan, author, among others, of the "Curitiba vampire".

Pietro Ferrua