Set in 1821, a year before Brazil’s independence from Portugal, Vazante tells the story of a rich cattle farmer and goods trader who learns that his wife and first child have died during labour.
Briefly overwhelmed but in need of an heir, he decides to marry his wife’s niece, even though she is still a young girl.
Rough in his ways and unused to family life, he returns to work leaving his new bride behind alone with his slaves, among whom his wife finds solace and friendship.
On his return, he finally consummates his marriage, and is soon after delighted to learn his wife is pregnant. But all is not as it seems.
This is Daniela Thomas’ solo directing debut, following regular collaboration with Walter Salles, with whom she co-directed Foreign Land, Midnight and Linha de Passe.
Vazante is visually stunning and bears strong testament to the inhumanity of slavery and female subjugation in 19th century Brazil.