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Behind the Sun Details


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 gunman as a matter of honor. The second shooter was then killed for the same reason, and ever since the two clans have been trading off murders in the name of familial honor and justice. The Breveses, who are a much smaller family, have been suffering a great deal more than their rivals thanks to this feud; a steady drop in sugar prices has also left the family with little but their pride. When Inácio, the first-born son of the Breves family, is shot down, his father (José Dumont) orders his next-oldest son, Tonho (Rodrigo Santoro), to kill one of the Ferreira boys after the traditional month-long waiting period. Tonho finds himself questioning the wisdom of this bloody rivalry, and he ponders his fate while spending time with his younger brother (Ravi Ramos Lacerda), whom his parents never bothered to name. As Tonho ponders his fate, a small traveling circus comes to town; Tonho and his brother are soon caught in the spell of Clara (Flavia Marco Antonio), a beautiful circus performer who befriends the young boy and nicknames him Pacu, while Tonho finds himself falling in love with her, and longing to travel the country at her side. Abril Despedacado won the Little Golden Lion award at the 2001 Venice Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:December 12, 2001


Awarded by
Venice International Film Festival Walter Salles, Jr. Agiscuola - Little Golden Lion 2001 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Walter Salles, Jr. Best Foreign Language Film 2001 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Arthur Cohn Best Foreign Language Film 2001 Nominee


José Dumont
as Father
Rodrigo Santoro
as Tonho
Rita Assemany
as Mother
Luis Carlos Vasconcelos
as Salustiano
Ravi Ramos Lacerda
as Pacu
Flavia Marco Antonio
as Clara
Othon Bastos
as Mr. Lourenco
Vinicius de Oliveira
as Ferreira Family
Mariana Loureiro
as Widow
Caio Junqueira
as Inácio
Wagner Moura
as Matheus
Gero Camilo
as Reginaldo
Soia Lira
as Ferreira Family


Walter Salles, Jr.
Arthur Cohn
Ismail Kadare
Book Author
Karim Aïnouz
Sérgio Machado
Walter Salles, Jr.
Walter Carvalho
Ed Cortes
Composer (Music Score)
Beto Villares
Composer (Music Score)
Isabelle Rathery
Cassio Amarante
Production Designer
Carole Scotta
Associate Producer
Simon Arnal-Szlovak
Associate Producer
Caroline Benjo
Associate Producer
Ruth Waldburger
Associate Producer
Etienne Parlier
Associate Producer
Christina Crassaris
Associate Producer
Jean Labadie
Associate Producer
Luciana Meula
Executive Producer
Lillian Birnbaum
Executive Producer
Mauricio Andrade Ramos
Executive Producer
Monica Costa
Set Designer
Cao Albuquerque
Costume Designer
Waldir Xavier
Sound/Sound Designer
Philippe Hubin
Special Effects
Guillaume Watrinet
Special Effects
Gabi Moraes
Marcelo Torres
Line Producer
Joao Salles
Additional Dialogue
Bianca Costa
Post Production Coordinator
Eduardo Colombiano
Production Assistant
Miguel Efe
Jürg Hassler
Artistic Advisor
Daniela Thomas
Additional Dialogue