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Cinema Novo or Novo Cinema (Portugal) was practised by Brazilian filmmakers in the 1950s and 1960s. In Portugal it flourished after the 1960s, where it lasted, inspired by the French movement of the New wave, the direct cinema techniques, and by the ideals the Carnation Revolution up to the early 1980s (see Cinema of Portugal).

It is encapsulated in the Portuguese phrase "Uma câmera na mão e uma idéia na cabeça" ("a camera in the hand and an idea in the head"), mainly referring to light hand-held 16 mm cameras.

In Brazil, the movement included directors Glauber Rocha, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Carlos Diegues and Joaquim Pedro de Andrade. Its main topics revolved around Brazilian poverty, mainly using the dry northeast and large cities as settings.

In Portugal its first representatives were directors such as José Ernesto de Sousa, Paulo Rocha, António de Macedo, Fernando Lopes, António da Cunha Telles. António Campos (documentary film).


  • Johnson, Randal: "The rise and fall of Brazilian cinema, 1960-1990" in: Iris n13 Summer (1991): 97-124.
  • Rocha, Glauber: "History of cinema novo" in: Framework n12 (1980): 19-27.
  • Schiff, Frederick: "Brazilian film and military censorship: Cinema Novo, 1964-1974" in: Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 13 n4 (1993): 469-494.

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