© Jorge das Neves

© Jorge das Neves

Nelson Pereira dos Santos

Como era gostoso o meu francês, 1971
35 mm film transferred to digital video, colour, sound, 84’, loop
Courtesy Regina Filmes

Based on accounts of cannibalism among the Tupi Indians described in chronicles and letters of 16th century European travellers in Brazil, the film tells the story of a Frenchman captured by a tribe of Tupinambás, whose fate is to be eaten
by the natives. However, during the long preparation for
the feast, he ends up adopting the tribe’s habits.
The film was censored by the Brazilian military dictatorship, but the producers managed to premiere it arguing that native nudity is not pornography.
With his ironic and critical stance vis-à-vis the (intolerant and ignorant) notion that native Brazilian peoples were primitive and uncivilized, Pereira dos Santos explores Oswaldo de Andrade’s concept of ‘Anthropophagy’.
While civilized Europeans saw the natives as savage (and inferior) because of being cannibals, Andrade proposed that cannibalism allows for the assimilation of the other (the European) without losing self-identity.