Tieta do Agreste
Carlos Diegues, Brazil
1996, Columbia et al.
140 minutes, Portuguese with English subtitles
LATAMROB rating: ***
IT’S LONG and at times awkward, but remains a delightful addition to the must-see list of Latin American movies and is probably more relevant today for its satirical sideways glance at the clash between tradition and modernity – and the allure of money – than when first released a decade ago. Tieta (Sonia Braga), an assertive and energetic widow, returns from São Paulo to the village in Bahia she was forced to flee years before because of scandal. With the grand dame comes a whirlwind of domestic and amorous turmoil, as she resolves old conflicts and fuels new ones – ensuring the young local priest loses his virginity in the process. Tieta do Agreste is worth seeing as much for the picturesque locale as for the rustic charm of the storyline and characters, but it is the glamorous Braga – a three-time Golden Globe nominee and pillar of Brazilian cinema – who carries the film. – EC