Best Movies by Farr
Vidas Secas Poster
Released Runtime Category
1963 103 Drama, Foreign Language
Director Language
Nelson Pereira Dos Santos Portuguese
Maria Ribeiro, Atilia Iorio, Jofre Soares

Vidas Secas

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What's it About
Fabiano (Iorio) and his wife Sinha (Ribeiro) have been forced by drought to wander the parched backlands of northeast Brazil with their two young sons, desperately looking for a means of subsistence. Hopes rise when Fabiano finally secures work as a cattleman, but then a series of events – including an ill-advised gambling session and a run-in with local police – dash the beleaguered family’'s plans.   
Why we love it
Often compared to John Ford'’s “"Grapes of Wrath"” and the humanist tradition of Italian neorealism, Dos Santos'’s “"Vidas Secas"” was one of the important early works in Brazil’'s own Cinema Novo movement. With his documentary-like portrait of a poor family staggering across the dry, barren landscape in search of food and shelter, Dos Santos shone a light on the oppressed lives of the marginal poor, people too broken-willed to resist injustice or make demands on their government. Shot in gorgeous black and white, “"Vidas”" is heartbreaking but rewards us with an original, provocative vision.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"