Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
Neorealism began in the rubble of postwar Rome, and a decade later the Nouvelle Vague was born on the streets of Paris. Brazil’s Cinema Nìvo movement was inspired by those precursors, but its subjects were usually rural. The best-known films of such ’60s Brazilian directors as Glauber Rocha and Anselmo Duarte are set in the hardscrabble northeast most recently visited by Central Station, the rare example of a ’90s Brazilian movie to make it to commercial North American moviehouses. (Its star, Fernanda Montenegro, appeared 30 years earlier in The Deceased, which will be screened at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 12). This survey of Cinema Nivo and its successors begins with several films that address poverty and exploitation on the Brazilian frontier: In Barren Lives (at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 5), drought forces a family to wander in search of work; Duarte’s The Given Word (at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 5), which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1962, mixes neorealism and satire in telling the story of a peasant who carries a wooden cross on a pilgrimage to honor the saint he believes cured his donkey; the title character of Rocha’s folkloric Antonio das Mortes (at noon Sunday, June 6) is a well-known gunman who’s hired to protect a landowner from rebellious bandits, only to join the uprising himself. Upcoming screenings include such noted post-Nivo films as Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 19) and The Hour of the Star (at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 20; pictured). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)