Behind the Sun (2001)



Critic Consensus: Visually poetic, Behind the Sun is a powerful statement about cycles of violence.

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Movie Info

A young man is forced to choose between family tradition and his own dreams and desires in this drama from Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles. In 1910 in a remote farming community, two families, the Breveses and the Ferreiras, both of whom earn their living growing sugar cane, have been squabbling over the ownership of a piece of land for years. The disagreement turned violent some time back, and after the first shot was fired and blood was spilled, the other family insisted upon killing the … More

Rating: PG-13 (for some violence and a scene of sexuality)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Walter Salles, Sérgio Machado, Karim Aïnouz
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 11, 2002
Miramax Films - Official Site

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as Father

as Old Blind Man

as Inácio

as Matheus

as Lourenco

as Reginaldo

as Ferreira Family Memb...

as Ferreira Family Memb...

as Ferreira Family Memb...

as Ferreira Family Memb...
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Critic Reviews for Behind the Sun

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (23)

The appearance of circus performers in any film not by Fellini usually bodes ill, and it does so here.

Full Review… | April 1, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A bleak, beautiful cinematic fable driven by the brutal logic of blood feuds and transformed by an overpowering sense of wonder.

Full Review… | July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Salles' movie taps into matters that are at once ancient and mythical and, needless to say, headline-fresh.

Full Review… | May 3, 2002
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Salles starts with the loudly trumpeted theme, then tacks on a slim plot to justify the clamour.

Full Review… | May 3, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

A lovely journey, but it's like a picture book whose text is merely incidental.

Full Review… | April 19, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Salles is a fine director with the ability to invest moments with a sense of tragedy and inexorable fate.

Full Review… | April 19, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Behind the Sun

Tragic, beautiful, poignant, compelling. A well told story not easily forgotten. This was one of the most moving films I've seen in a long time. It's golden colors seem to breathe the very heat of the desert itself, and the cinematography is breathtaking. The actors do a brilliant job with their performances, a fine example of perfect casting . I don't see this is as a story about revenge, or even hatred, but more about one's willingness, or unwillingness, to blindly accept a ritual based on an idea which is not valid. Excellent film!

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Behind the Sun, Abril Despedacado, a Brazilian movie who told the simple story about two families locked in a blood vendetta over sugar cane land in the late 19th century somewhere in a northern part of Brazil. Beautifully shot against dry Brazilian landscapes and narrated through the eyes of a little boy and off course the tremendous cast of talented actors, especially, Rodrigo Santoro. However, it was the little boy who really stole the show and carried the movie through. He was fantastic, and showed real brotherly love, and the relationships between the families.This movie was often painful but delightful for those who admire depth, romanticism and beauty of expression. A must to see.

Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer


on a foreign movie watching spree--spanish, argentinean, french, and this final brazilian movie today topped them all.

Daniel Hsu

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