Past Film/Video | Classics

Black God, White Devil

(Deus e o diabo na terra do sol, Glauber Rocha, 1964) 

Film History 101

Columbus Premiere | New Restoration

A bearded bandit with long curly hair, holds the hilt of a sword in front of his face, while wearing a large-brimmed hat adorned with coins.

This new restoration of one of the central films of the radical Brazilian Cinema Novo movement of the 1960s is a can’t-miss part of your film education.

Of all the cinematic New Wave movements happening globally in the 1960s, the Brazilian Cinema Novo was among the most politically committed and adventurous—and Glauber Rocha was the movement’s trailblazer. Black God, White Devil, his third film, takes place in two parts amid an arid desert backdrop. Filled with bandits, religious fanatics, hired killers, and rebellious workers, the film is a scorched-earth allegory against mindless fanaticism that reworks Western and Brazilian history with a feverish intensity. Rocha has influenced countless subsequent filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Sergio Leone, and Kleber Mendonça Filho. Rocha’s uncompromising, decolonial, and revolutionary cinema was also in dialogue with his contemporary Sarah Maldoror. Black God, White Devil was selected for the 1964 Cannes Film Festival. In Portuguese with English subtitles. (120 mins., 4K DCP)

Black God, White Devil, courtesy of Janus Films.

"The most beautiful thing I have seen in a decade, filled with a savage poetry."
Luis Buñuel

Film History 101

The Films You Need to See Before You Graduate 

One of the biggest surprises in moviegoing trends of the past two years has been the renewed audience interest in seeing older films in theaters. This series offers students—and general audiences interested in cinema history—monthly opportunities to see some of the most essential and exciting films ever made on the big screen! Over the academic year, the films will range from established classics to more recently discovered gems. 

About the filmmaker

Glauber Rocha chevron-down chevron-up

Glauber Rocha was born on March 14, 1939, in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil. In his teenage years, Rocha joined Brazil’s radical left; later in life, his views would imbue his cinematic work. In 1963, the inaugural New York Film Festival screened Barravento (1962), Rocha’s debut feature, as part of its prestigious lineup. Rocha was soon hailed as one of the leading voices of Cinema Novo, a movement of young, innovative, and politically motivated Brazilian filmmakers. By the end of the 1960s, Rocha had achieved significant international recognition for his films’ unique blend of socialist politics, proletarian folklore, and experimental aesthetics. Spurred by Brazil’s oppressive dictatorship, Rocha voluntarily went into exile in 1971 and lived in Spain, Chile, and France before eventually settling in the Portuguese Riviera. He returned to Brazil at the very end of his life and died in Rio de Janeiro on August 22, 1981, at the age of forty-two.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Sarah Maldoror: Tricontinental Cinema.

National Endowment for the Arts 
Ohio Humanities

Rohauer Collection Foundation

Ohio Department of Development

Greater Columbus Arts Council

The Wexner Family 
Institute of Museum and Library Services

Ohio Arts Council, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts 
Ohio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme 
The Columbus Foundation 
Nationwide Foundation 
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane 
Axium Packaging 
Nancy Kramer 
Ohio State Energy Partners 
Ohio History Fund/Ohio History Connection 
Larry and Donna James 
David Crane and Elizabeth Dang 
Bruce and Joy Soll 
Rebecca Perry Damsen and Ben Towle 
Jones Day 
Alex and Renée Shumate


Past Film/Video

Black God, White Devil