Quilombo (1986) - English subtitles


Palmares is a 17th-century quilombo, a settlement of escaped slaves in northeast Brazil. In 1650, plantation slaves revolt and head for the mountains where they find others led by the aged seer, Acotirene. She anoints one who becomes Ganga Zumba, a legendary king. For years, his warriors hold off Portuguese raiders; then he agrees to leave the mountains in exchange for reservation land and peace. It's a mistake. Zumbi, a warrior whose mother was killed by Portuguese and who spent 15 years with the Whites, stays in the mountains to lead Palmares. In 1694, the Portuguese import a ruthless captain from São Paulo to lead an assault on the free Blacks. Can Zumbi keep Palmares free?

This is a relatively close historical depiction of the resistance of the displaced Africans, mostly from Angola, to Brazil for use as slaves for the Portuguese. Diegues maintains historical accuracy of the quilombo(kilombo) called Palmares and the life the escaped Africans led and their struggle to lead that life far from the oppressive Portuguese. This is one of the few films which tells the story of African people actively resisting European slavers. Quilombo also follows the life of Zumbi, the death of Ganga Zumba,the initial leader of Palmares and Zumbi's rise to become the eventual leader of Palmares. For anyone looking at history and its true representation in film, this is a good start. It plays close to the vest in historical authenticity.
  • Director: Carlos Diegues
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR
  • Studio: New Yorker Films
  • Video Release Date: February 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 114mins
  • DVD & VHS
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