Revenge of the jungle freaks

by J.R. Molotnik

from Jump Cut, no. 12/13, 1976, pp. 22-24

When MACUNAÍMA, made by Brazilian director Joaquim Pedro de Andrade in 1968, first opened in New York, it was dubbed JUNGLE FREAKS and advertised in the Village Voice as “95 Minutes of Brazil Nuts.” New Line Cinema, the film’s U.S. distributor, was clearly seeking to attract the Voice’s avowedly offbeat readers with promises of an exotic spoof. Their promotion campaign, aided by a slick comic book style poster featuring a grotesque grownup “baby,” emphasized the zany experience awaiting the viewer. The movie buff likely to attend such an “underground” film was thus readied for a far-out lighthearted film, one bearing little resemblance to the “heavy” classics of Latin American revolutionary cinema.

It is my position that both aesthetically and politically, MACUNAÍMA is a landmark film. Its systematic misinterpretation in the United States requires explanation. Why have U.S. art house and university audiences found the film fun but incomprehensible, and why has it not been given a serious political reading?

Part of the answer lies in a simple lack of information. Although there is an explicit historical introduction which appears immediately on the screen, it is insufficient for the non-Brazilian viewer. Only a specialist would be aware of the mythical and historical references made throughout the film, through which it raises problems of national identity, colonialism, and artistic commitment. Furthermore, the movie is openly based on a well-known Brazilian novel, written by Mário de Andrade in 1928 (no relation to either Joaquim Pedro or Oswald de Andrade, another important Brazilian writer). This fact creates a dialogue around form which Brazilian but not U.S. audiences would engage in.

While lines from the novel are directly quoted in the narration, there is also much in the film that does not appear in the novel. Most of the additions are sequences treating Macunaíma in the city. Fantastical but nonetheless obvious references to urban guerrilla warfare are added which allude to the suspension of civil rights and impossibility of legal dissent that have characterized Brazilian daily life since the 1964 military-led “Revolution.” Philosophically the film is faithful to its literary source. Certain aspects of its content, though, are intentionally altered to represent, and protest, the harsh realities of repression and censorship “legalized” by the military regime.

To Brazilian viewers, MACUNAÍMA is an unmistakably political film. They may not be aware of its specific references, yet they will certainly understand how intimately the film, released in 1969, is tied to a major turning point in Brazilian political life. Given the dismal lack of knowledge in the U.S. about Latin America and especially about Brazil, even the educated North American viewer is unlikely to know that on December 13, 1968, Institutional Act No. 5 essentially “dissolved the Brazilian Congress, suspended all individual guarantees such as habeas-corpus, imposed control over the press and gave freedom of repression to the security system of the military.”(1) Still in effect today, this infamous decree effectively silenced both civilian protestors and vanguard political groups in Brazil.

Clearly it also had a disastrous effect on artists. The precise ramifications of censorship and repression in the cultural sphere have not yet been systematically explored. The arts—especially film, theater, and popular music—have been able to register some political protest. More direct sources—the press, universities, social scientists and politicians in general—have been harder hit. On one hand, artists can pass off criticism or protest as “entertainment.” On the other, they can act as an unwitting escape valve for a government seeking to siphon off potentially threatening dissatisfaction among its citizens. The issue is disturbingly complex. Important here are the ways in which MACUNAÍMA proposed an imaginative and widely-admired response to both a political crackdown and a crisis of expression in Brazil.

In strictly cinematic terms MACUNAÍMA was a highpoint for the Brazilian film industry. From 1960-64 the Brazilian cinema had demonstrated a self-conscious concern for national problems. Working without an organizational infrastructure to speak of, “with an idea in their heads and a camera in their hands,” idealistic filmmakers like Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Glauber Rocha and the Mozambican Rui Guerra had forced their countrymen and others to look at the harsh realities of the Northeast. In films that later became classics of the Cinema Nôvo, or New Cinema, these artists explored the peculiar drought-ridden landscape and striking social inequities of that potentially explosive region. The year 1963 saw the production and release of three epoch-marking films: Rocha’s DEUS E O DIABO NA TERRA DO SOL (BLACK GOD, WHITE DEVIL); Guerra’s OS FUZIS (THE GUNS); and dos Santos’ adaptation of Graciliano Ramos’ classic novel, VIDAS SECAS (BARREN LIVES). OS FUZIS is the most overtly political, but all the films were shot on location and eloquently protest the exploitation of peasants and of their beliefs.

After the 1964 military coup, the Cinema Nôvo, like other art forms in Brazil, reflected both an increasing need to speak for the silenced segments of the population and the pressures of censorship. Political corruption, problems of Brazilian capitalism and development, the impotence of the intellectual class and the crisis of Brazil as a nation unable to unify and organize its own people were indirectly depicted in many films, most notable among them Carlos Diegues’ A GRANDE CIDADE (THE BIG CITY, 1966) and Glauber Rocha’s TERRA EM TRANSE (LAND IN ANGUISH, 1966). This last film has sparked endless debate about the true nature of revolutionary cinema, especially since its protagonist declares: “Poetry and politics are too much for just one lifetime!”

Both TERRA EM TRANSE and MACUNAÍMA couch their political messages in indirect forms: Rocha using violent allegory and Joaquim Pedro stylized, sometimes wacky farce. Yet both are clearly critical treatments of major fallacies supported by the current Brazilian regime—in the former case, the “romance” of Revolution, whether from the left or right, and in the latter, the “glories” of capitalist development. MACUNAÍMA’s urban emphasis, in particular, corresponded to an increasing awareness in Brazil that the country was no longer predominantly rural. Now, industrialization, with all the contradictions it manifests in a dependent economy, was the road of the future.

These contradictions, in fact, and the special dilemmas they pose for artists are the theoretical “meat” of the film. Before discussing them in detail, however, it is necessary to recall the movie itself. Like the novel, the film opens with the birth of the hero MACUNAÍMA. The “baby.” though, is a full-grown black man, while the “mother” is white, aged, and masculine in appearance. Humorously acted and directed, the scene is only the first of many plays on conventional categories of race, sex, and age. Macunaíma himself later fathers a black “baby” (deliciously acted by Grande Otelo), although both he and his “wife” are now white. This racial spoof has a special resonance in Brazil where the professed acceptance of miscegenation fails to hide a clear prejudice against blacks.(2) North Americans, with their less flexible notions of race are likely to miss the full social context and significance of these transformations. (As Carl Degler points out, in the U.S. one is either black or white while in Brazil there are literally hundreds of in-between categories.)

In the first part of the film, then, we see the black “baby” Macunaíma leading a leisurely existence in the Amazonian wilderness. Sucking his thumb, whining, and clutching his blanket, Macunaíma lives off his wiles (and the labor of others). He remains silent for his first six years, because, after all, there is nothing to complain about. When he does talk finally, it is to remind everyone about how lazy he feels. “Ai,’ he wails, “que preguiça!” (“Boy, am I whacked out!” ) Chief among his diversions is “playing” with his brother’s mistress—a sexy white woman whose magic “cigarettes” turn Macunaíma into a debonair Prince Charming. The sudden change from ragged black “baby’ to suave white hero (shown in alarming color on the screen) enhances Macunaíma’s sex appeal. Even his brother’s jealous rage isn't much of a constraint. The woman is finally sent away, reaffirming masculine control of at least that situation. Again the categories of race, sex, and age are humorously manipulated in a way that seems somewhat arbitrary to a U.S. viewer even though it makes satirical sense in Brazil.

The idyll ends with the coming of a great flood. Macunaíma survives by hoarding a private banana stash; his less fortunate irascible mother dies. Macunaíma, his two brothers Maanape and Jiguê, and the latter’s new woman are forced to migrate to the city. On the way they spot a gushing fountain, the waters of which turn Macunaíma white again, this time for good. Jiguê, also black, rushes to the spring but manages to wet only the soles of his feet and the palms of his hands. This is a sarcastic visual treatment of a popular legend explaining Negroid coloring (we have a similar folk tale). And the “miracle” leads to the scene’s punch line. By the time the third and oldest brother reaches the spring, it has dried up completely. He forgets his disappointment when Macunaíma reminds him, “You're already white. What if you turn black?”

This entire sequence may appear not only ridiculous but racist to a viewer here unaccustomed to the ironies and contradictions of racial mixtures in Brazil. It is hard to “prove” that the film has a critical attitude toward these racial stereotypes and prejudices. But its farcical tone. its more obvious critique of consumerism and capitalist development, and its sardonic treatment of Macunaíma as the white “hero” are evidence of the film’s generally critical stance vis-a-vis the dominant myths of contemporary Brazilian society. Although racial attitudes are not Joaquim Pedro’s main concern in this film, they are closely related to the other conventions he attacks.

Sexuality, urban violence, and financial empire-building are the main issues treated in the second part of the film. That part might be called “Hard and Soft Times in the City.” Macunaíma literally falls for a lovely urban guerrilla, Cí, who initiates him into the pleasures of conjugal life. Their sparsely furnished apartment features an elaborately decorated hammock strung just above a mattress. For even more fun. Cí is always the aggressor, both at home and in town, where she goes to “make war” as other housewives might go shopping. Macunaíma is both sexually and politically passive, reacting strongly only when Cí blows both herself and their black “baby” to smithereens with an ill-timed bomb. Her unfortunate and violent end might well be a comment on the fate of most resisters to the Brazilian dictatorship. And her relationship to Macunaíma represents an intentional reversal of conventional male-female roles. On a psychological level her aggressivity corresponds to a common male fantasy. Within the film, it contrasts sharply with Macunaíma’s essential lack of character and his preguiça or laziness. Like racial stereotypes and prejudices, sex roles in the film are blown-up to farcical proportions.

Sexual aggression also characterizes the next sequence. When the leather-clad Cí explodes, the magic stone “protecting” her (the muraquitã) falls into the hands of the evil giant Pietro Pietra. Pietra discovered it, he claims, in the belly of a fish. Proudly indicating the extent of his landholdings, acquired as “accidentally” as the magic stone, of course, Pietro Pietra extols the virtues of “free” enterprise. “Why, anyone,” he affirms, “might have found the muraquitã.” His Italian-accented Portuguese satirizes the entrepreneurial excesses of the Matarazzos and other Italian industrialists who in fact profited greatly from the growth of Sao Paulo. Undaunted by the giant’s monopoly capitalism, Macunaíma tries repeatedly to recover the magic stone. In “drag,” trying to seduce Pietro Pietra, he is found out and flees only to be literally netted by the carnivorous women of the house who fling him, missionary-style, into their cooking pot. A sympathetic younger daughter lets him go, with an ulterior motive, of course. Macunaíma manages to escape without the muraquitã but with his honor intact.

The reference to cannibalism is even more explicit in the lurid swimming pool scene which follows. Pietro Pietra’s daughter is about to be married. A feijoada, the Brazilian national dish made of beans and pork ends, is prepared for the celebration. No ordinary feijoada, this one floats nauseatingly in an Olympic-sized pool full of piranhas. Guests are shoved in by force and resurface later on as tasty tidbits for the others. The giant presides over this anthropaphagous orgy with great glee, forcing Macunaíma onto a trapeze that swings threateningly over the pool. With great agility Macunaíma in turn forces Pietro Pietra onto the trapeze. The giant is at last in a vulnerable position, and Macunaíma, dressed in the green and gold national colors of Brazil, scores a direct hit with an arrow in the giant’s back. The villain gets his comeuppance. Having consumed so many others, he will soon be eaten himself. Connoisseurs of black humor flip out over this scene, reminiscent of Terry Southern’s worst and equaled in a grimmer mode only by Fernando Rey’s dive into a tank of human excrement in Lina Wertmuller’s SEVEN BEAUTIES.

As master of the house and owner of the muraquitã, which were his rewards for slaying the giant, Macunaíma immerses himself in luxury. He soon tires of urban life though and decides to return to the mato (the forest). He brings with him a laughable assortment of superfluous consumer goods: TV, electric guitar, blender and air conditioner. Like these objects which have no possible use far from “civilization,” Macunaíma himself falls idle. Abandoned by his comrades, he ends his days in the company of a sympathetic parrot who listens to his master’s recounted exploits with a somewhat disbelieving cock of the head. The film ends with the ultimate “consumption.” Unable to resist the lure of a lovely water nymph. Macunaíma dives into a languid pool. To the ironic strains of a military march, his bloody clothes bubble to the surface, evoking the film’s introductory explanation, that it is “the story of a Brazilian consumed by Brazil.”

For most American viewers, the political aspects of this theme are often overshadowed by the film’s flamboyant style. I have already mentioned the “baby” Macunaíma’s transformations into an Elizabethan Prince Charming, complete with tights, pointed shoes, and a multicolored tunic. The urban guerrilla sequence wherein Macunaíma meets the lovely but violent Cí ends with an outrageous seduction on a car elevator in a parking structure. Similarly entertaining is Macunaíma’s visit to a macumba rite of Brazilian spiritism. One of the dancers “picks up” Pietro Pietra’s spirit and under a hail of blows from Macunaíma “transfers” her bruises to the unsuspecting giant. This alternation of settings, often within a single scene, is paralleled by an astonishing use of double entendres. One day, for example, Macunaíma comes upon a bum sitting at the base of a concrete overpass. ‘What are you doing?” he asks. “Cracking nuts,” the bum replies, demonstrating by driving a brick into a bag of edible ones placed perilously close to his crotch. Macunaíma, literal as ever, imitates the bum but without the prop, so to speak. The scene ends with the two bent double: Macunaíma with pain, his “mentor” with glee.

These visual tricks and puns give the film such a captivating surface slickness that many viewers probe no further. U.S. audiences, in particular, are likely to see the film as hopelessly wacky comedy, “Brazil Nuts.” But even for a Brazilian the film’s innovative mixture of artistic vanguardism and political commentary is startling. Nor are all the historical allusions common knowledge. It is interesting, for example, that Macunaíma itself is the name of a creation myth from the extreme north of the Amazon region. According to the Indians there. Macunaíma was a great and good spirit which created the earth, the plants, and the animals. Only when these were finished did he create man, who promptly fell into a profound sleep. When he awoke, there was a woman at his side. But soon the Bad Spirit won superiority over the earth, and in retaliation Macunaíma sent great floods. The film makes ironic use of these mythical elements so that Macunaíma, who is hardly a creator, becomes an anti-hero, one “without any character.”(3) His laziness and trickster mentality, even when mixed with gullibility, are typical of many Brazilian folk figures.

The film, then, proposes its own definition of the Brazilian national character. Long a preoccupation among historians, artists, and philosophers, the question of national identity is particularly problematic in the light of Brazil’s colonial past as well as her current economic dependence. In Brazilian folklore, those tricksters who prefer cunning and deceit to “honest” labor are often glorified since such preguiça or laziness is taken as a form of protest against both foreign and local profiteers. Figures like Pedro Malasarte and Macunaíma, who passed into folklore as Mário de Andrade’s shiftless but loveable hero, are highly esteemed in Brazil because they consistently “beat the system.” Everyone can identify with Macunaíma when he slays the giant or cons his brothers. But in Brazil outsmarting the bureaucracy or proving one’s resourcefulness against intractable officials is a national pastime. Joaquim Pedro’s final twist of the legend, Macunaíma’s unhappy end, reveals just how small these victories really are.

Closely related to the notion of preguiça is more radical form of non-cooperation: cannibalism. The idea pervades the entire film and connotes traditions unfamiliar to most North Americans. Historically all cannibalistic incidents in Brazil hark back to the original deglutition of the Bishop of Sardinia. The first such high ranking churchman to be sent to Brazil in the 16th century, the Bishop was not only shipwrecked but captured by the Indians and eaten. Leading the Cannibal Movement of the late 1920’s, Oswald de Andrade called for a new calendar in Brazil to be dated from the year of that original feast, as well as for a Congresso de Antropofagismo (Cannibalism Conference) to be held each 11th of October, the last day of independence in America (Columbus, of course, arrived on the 12th). “Tupy or not Tupy,” wrote Oswald (the Tupis were an important Brazilian coastal tribe), burlesquing the mental subjugation imposed by over 400 years of colonial rule. At the basis of his cannibal consciousness was a desire to break taboos, to destroy the colonial father, or in a mixture of Freudian and Christian symbology: eat not the host but the guest!

Not only the Cannibal Movement but Brazilian Modernism (a very important artistic movement centered in Sao Paulo from 1922-1945) as a whole valorized local tradition over European artistic models. In writing the novel Macunaíma, Mário de Andrade attempted to create a thoroughly Brazilian idiom and break the Lusitanian, or continental Portuguese, tyranny over his country’s written language. He saw this “Brazilianization” of Portuguese as the most effective tool with which to mold national identity since it proved the innate creativity of the Brazilian people as expressed in their folklore. Yet Mário also recognized the inherent contradictions in the Modernist campaign, “to write like the people talk,” since most of the Modernists, himself included, were members of an elite group with Europeanized educations, tastes, life styles, and aspirations.

Joaquim Pedro’s film also suffers from this dilemma. Isn't this critique of cannibalism in Brazil (in the end Oswald de Andrade is revealed as a dreamer, and Macunaíma becomes the victim) most likely to be seen by the country’s chief cannibals? That is, like most vanguard works which utilize material from popular culture, the film is literally inaccessible to the very people whose culture it portrays. It is quite possible that an Acrean homesteader or a laborer in São Paulo would adore the movie.(4) It is unlikely, though, that they would ever have the chance to see it. Music is perhaps the only art form in Brazil which successfully cuts across rigid class lines. Literature, theater and film, in contrast, are almost totally produced and consumed by the middle and upper classes.

Still, MACUNAÍMA was widely appreciated among Brazilian moviegoers. Along with Nelson Pereira dos Santos’ COMO ERA GOSTOSO O MEU FRANCÉS (HOW TASTY WAS MY LITTLE FRENCHMAN, 1971), it ranked among the twenty-five biggest box office hits from 1968-1973 according to a list published by the National Cinema Institute. The erotic appeal of both films contributed to their marketability—the Brazilian “Revolution” has been anything but austere. Yet both are undeniably important films, and they glare out from the list of comedies, melodramas, historical super-productions, musicals, children’s films and pornochanchada (soft porn) that have saturated Brazilian movie houses since the death, in 1968 with Institutional Act No. 5, of the Cinema Nôvo as a cohesive movement. (Isolated filmmakers, including Joaquim Pedro and Nelson Pereira, have continued to produce.)

MACUNAÍMA’s popularity, in particular, represents a major victory for a certain line of avant-garde thinking which aims for a unification of artistic and political freedom. Like the bomb of the urban guerrilla, the film blows up the notion that social criticism, to be widely understood, must be confined within a realist aesthetic. The Brazilian moviegoer, even if he/ she knows nothing about the film’s mythological and literary sources, will still pick up the spoof, in the character of Pietro Pietra, of the immigrant Italian industrialists who “modernized” southern Brazil. Nor can he/she miss the implications of the urban guerrilla sequence, which allows viewers to participate imaginatively in shooting up the forces of repression (at least until Cí meets her untimely end).

Macunaíma’s speechifying, furthermore, has unmistakable echoes of the military regime’s inflated rhetoric. Today one hears the slogan, the omnipresent “Este é um país que vai pra frente!” (“This country is moving forward!”) Aren't these slogans favored in Brazil as meaningless, given the difficulties of survival for most people, as Macunaíma’s bizarre motto? His is, “Muita saúva e pouca sáude os males do Brasil são!” (Lots of leaf-cutter ants and little health are the evils of Brazil!” ) Macunaíma, in fact, may be closer to the truth. The point is that his generally anarchistic attitude is obviously an affront to the traditions of family and property glorified by the military regime.(5) How could the government promote the famous “Milagre Económico Brasileiro” (“Brazilian Economic Miracle”) among the likes of Macunaíma, who in order to avoid arrest sets everyone on the track of a wild boar he claims to have seen? “E em plena bolsa de valores!” exclaims an irate businessman. (“And right in the middle of the stock exchange!’” )

Brazilian avant-gardists have always defended formal experimentation and internationalism in style. At best, they have produced art works which reformulate foreign influences to meet local needs. As far back as the 1920’s, writers perceived the social and political importance of their aesthetic decisions. Oswald de Andrade proclaimed that the Modernist Movement was to be merely the first phase in the “general reconstruction of Brazil.” Obviously a poem or painting could not change Brazil’s world status as a dependent country. Still the Modernists and their avant-garde successors have challenged traditional ideas of European and American superiority held not only by Europeans and Americans, but by many Brazilians. Tarsila do Amaral, a Modernist painter, summed up the vanguard’s position:

“Why Rome? We have a mystery at hone. The earth is pregnant. You [outsiders] can follow us from far. Art needs no explanation.”

What characterizes Joaquim Pedro’s MACUNAÍMA, I think, is precisely that refusal to explain. The film stands squarely on its own beliefs, as “Brazilian” to a foreigner’s eye as the picture postcard view of Guanabara Bay. Of course, it can be trivialized and dismissed as zany farce (“Brazil Nuts” ), but that is the fault of the uninformed viewer or the promoter, not the filmmaker. The movie makes no concessions to foreigners, and since it is a well-known U.S. habit to degrade things we can't understand, in the United States MACUNAÍMA has at worst been dismissed, at best taken too lightly.

Is MACUNAÍMA a revolutionary film? In answering this question, one must first of. all consider what “revolutionary” means within today’s Brazilian context. Remember that the military officers in control since 1964 envision themselves as the leaders of a great “Revolution.” The implementation of censorship and the abrogation of civil rights are thus “revolutionary” measures. On the other hand, activities critical of the regime are “subversive acts of terrorism.” This may sound facetious, but the point is a serious one. Any film which opposes the established order, especially when that order is dictatorial, must play by certain rules if it is ever to be released. Clearly one can maintain an ideal definition of revolutionary cinema, but it will be useless or inoperative in a tightly controlled, repressive society.

Perhaps another example will further explain my position. Chico Buarque de Holanda, the popular Brazilian musician, has observed that his music is not political. “It’s about daily behavior,” he says. “Only today in Brazil, any criticism aimed at the middle class is considered protest.” By the same token Joaquim Pedro’s critique of urban development, foreign exploitation of national resources, and chauvinist rhetoric appears revolutionary (i.e. violently opposed to the established order) in today’s Brazil, where merely expressing such opinions is tantamount to sedition and is treated as such. Joaquim Pedro played by the rules insofar as he coded his messages in highly farcical form and capitalized on the national respectability of his literary sources. In so doing he created a complex art work that invites many interpretations. Yet it is inconceivable that any direct attack on the regime or clear socialist plan for the future would ever be made (who would invest in such a film?) or shown in Brazil (what theater manager could or would take such a risk?).

It is clear to me that those of us interested in the struggle for liberation in Brazil or in any repressive society must accept not only the revolutionary potential of criticism but its actual revolutionary importance. Despite censorship during the twelve years of military dictatorship in Brazil, film, theater, and especially popular music have shown an enormous capacity both to register and inspire political dissent. Again, such “entertainment” may simply function as an escape hatch for potentially dangerous energy or as a mode of self-deception for the so-called “izquerda festiva” (“festive left” ). Still, in the face of direct repression artists have reached large’ audiences, and their distress signals—if nothing else—have gotten through. The popularity of two recent plays, Chico Buarque and Paulo Pontes’ Gota d'Agua (A Trop of Water) and João das Neves’ O Último Carro (The Last Car) is proof that audiences hunger for social criticism. Both productions always evoke the same response from enthusiastic viewers: “How wonderful it is to see a play about our Brazilian reality!”

Definitions or labels are in the end much less important than the works themselves. Many more observations might be made about MACUNAÍMA, especially from a technical point of view. The main point, however, is that the film has had a lasting impact on both filmmakers and moviegoers in Brazil. It is a humorous but convincing reminder that the market’s current saturation with American, European and nationally produced commercial “fluff” is not entirely inevitable, because a serious film can also be popular. Further, its highly original style is evidence that social criticism and protest need not necessarily be tied to a somber didactic form. And for U.S. audiences the film’s sheer strangeness makes the point that not everything from the Third World can be chewed, consumed, and regurgitated onto a T-shirt. Perhaps that is the real revenge of the “Jungle Freaks.” These “Brazil Nuts,” despite their promised exotic taste, are not edible.


1. Jean Marc Von der Weid, Brazil: 1964 to the Present: A Political Analysis (Montreal: Editions Latin America, 1972).

2. See Florestan Fernandes, The Negro in Brazilian Society, and Carl N. Deglar, Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States (New York: Macmillan, 1971).

3. This phrase appears in the full title of the novel: Macunaíma, 0 Herói Sem Nenhum Caráter, or Macunaíma, the Hero Without Any Character.

4. The issue is very complex. Many studies have shown the great aesthetic sophistication of folk and traditional art forms, but there is little empirical evidence as to how cinematically inexperienced people, for example, would react to a multileveled farce like MACUNAÍMA. To what extent is aesthetic sensibility determined by social class, and how do people with no experience of an art form interpret its relation to their reality? Cuban research in this area promises to be very illuminating.

5. In São Paulo on March 19, 1964, a huge demonstration called the “Marcha da Família con Deus pela Liberdade” (“The Family’s March, with God, for Freedom” ) revealed the extent of rightist sentiments among certain segments of the urban bourgeoisie. These causes and their accompanying rhetoric were then championed by the military which took over just days later on April 1, 1964.