A review of the brazilian film "Two Sons of Francisco,"("2 Filhos de Francisco") directed by Breno Silveira, a biopic of Zezé di Camargo and Luciano, a leading country music duo in Brazil.
Both stylistically and in its tone "Two Sons of Francisco" is strikingly different from the last two Brazilian films that made a mark internationally. "Central Station" and "City of God" both had a bleak outlook on life, with "City of God" also winning attention for its dazzling visual innovations.
In contrast, the director of "Two Sons of Francisco," Breno Silveira, has deliberately chosen a style that he describes as "dry, simple and direct." Nor, he said, did he dwell more than he needed to on the Camargo family's poverty. "People always talk of misery but I don't believe in that," he said. "We are a happy, hopeful people, and I wanted to reflect that." (...)
After five months in theaters, "Two Sons of Francisco" has been seen by more than five million people, making it both the most widely viewed Brazilian movie here in more than 25 years and the highest-grossing film, Brazilian or foreign, here in 2005. The DVD version, issued just before Christmas with documentary and concert scenes added, has also broken records, with nearly 500,000 copies sold legally and 400,000 pirate copies estimated to be in circulation.
Whether the movie can come anywhere near that kind of success abroad remains to be seen, of course. But with its emphasis on talent overcoming adversity, "Two Sons of Francisco" contains echoes of recent Hollywood biopics about the lives of Johnny Cash and Ray Charles, and those involved in the making of the movie are optimistic - as Brazilians usually are.
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