It took Victor Brecheret 30 years to complete his Monument to the Bandeirantes, which measures 16 meters high and 50 meters long. Since 1953, this masterwork by one of Brazil's most successful sculptors of the 20th century has been on display in São Paolo. It is an ode to the development of the Brazilian hinterland by indigenous, African and Portuguese Brazilians. Two horses are at the front, followed by a collection of angular, brawny men - together, they are dragging an enormous tree trunk. The sequence of details gradually gives the beholder a feel for the artwork's proportions and composition. It is filmed from bottom-up, causing the surrounding city to fade away, and the black-and-white cinematography endows the clouds with a monumental aura as they glide by. This study gets an extra dimension by replacing the actual sound environment with a score of what it might have sounded like during the exploration: men and horses drudge in silence and the jungle speaks.
Zita Carvalhosa for Cinematografica Superfilmes Ltda.