• Mike Phillips deposited West by Northeast: The Western in Brazil in the group Group logo of CLCS Global SouthCLCS Global South on MLA Commons 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    This chapter examines the relationship between American Westerns and Brazilian Nordesterns, films set in the arid northeastern region known as the sertão. US cultural and economic imperialism, in Brazil and throughout Latin America, is both cause and effect of persistent underdevelopment. The northward flow of natural resources has long been accompanied by a southward flood of mass media. American cinema thus becomes both an insidious tool of economic subordination and a cherished vehicle for popular entertainment. This apparent paradox animates the dialectical style of Glauber Rocha’s Antônio das Mortes (O Dragão da Maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro, 1969), which juxtaposes Western iconography with Brazilian folklore in a self-consciously hybrid form and through a radical mode of transnational spectatorial address. The protagonist Antônio is not simply a transplanted Western gunslinger, but the manifestation of a syncretic process through which Rocha borrows ostensibly colonialist forms to tell his decolonial story.