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Year: 2001
USA: Miramax Films
UK: Buena Vista International UK
Cast: Rodrigo Santoro, Jose Dumont, Rita Assemany, Ravi Ramos Lacerda,Luis Carlos Vasconcelos, Flavia Marco Antonio, Othon Bastos
Director: Walter Salles
Countries: Brazil / France / Switzerland
Language: Portuguese
USA: 106 mins
UK: 91 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sexuality
UK Certificate: 12 contains one scene of moderate violence, and mild language
USA Release Date: 12 December 2001 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 8 March 2002


Set in the Brazilian badlands - April 1910 - a bloodstained shirt blows in the wind on this bleak, desert landscape. Tonho (Rodrigo Santoro), the middle son of the Breves family, is ordered by his father (Jose Dumont) to avenge the death of his older brother, the victim of an age-old feud between families over the ownership of the land.

If he carries out his mission, Tonho knows that his life will be divided in two: the 20 years he has already lived, and the short time he has left to live. He will then probably be killed by a member of the rival family, as dictated by the code of vengeance of the region. Distressed by prospect of death and urged on by his younger brother Pacu (Ravi Ramos Lacerda), Tonho begins to question the logic of the tradition of violence. This is when two performers in a little traveling circus cross his path...

BEHIND THE SUN (ABRIL DESPEDAÇADO) was inspired by the novel BROKEN APRIL by the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare. It was adapted for the screen by Walter Salles, Sergio Machado and Karim Aïnouz, and the filming took place in August and September 2000 in the towns of Bom Sossego, Caetite and Rio de Contas, in the interior of Bahia.

The film is a Brazilian - French - Swiss co-production. BEHIND THE SUN brings together once more producer Arthur Cohn, who collaborated with Vittorio De Sica on his last five films and is the only independent producer to have won six Oscars, and Brazilian director Walter Salles. Their last film together, CENTRAL STATION, won more than 50 international awards and was seen by more than 7 million viewers, including 1.6 million in Brazil.

As in FOREIGN LAND and CENTRAL STATION, the cast of BEHIND THE SUN brings together both professional and non-professional actors. To prepare the actors, Walter Salles relied on assistant director Sergio Machado and actor Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos. The director of photography is Walter Carvalho and the music is by Antonio Pinto, with the collaboration of Ed COrtes and Beto Villares, and with the special participation of Siba, from the Pernambucan group Mestre Ambrósio.

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