The Cinema novo movement began in Brazil in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was a time of political and economic crisis in the country, and films of this era focused on social issues.

The movement’s name comes from the term “cinema novo” which means “new cinema” or “new wave”.

Tropicalia was a cultural movement that also sprang up during this period and had an effect on Cinema novo films.

Cinema Novo Film Movement

What Is Cinema Novo Film Movement?

Cinema Novo was a revolutionary film movement in Brazil from 1963 to 1968. It was a counterpoint to the Cinema Marginal, the dominant film movement in Brazil.

The Cinema Novo is characterized as an attempt to break with the stylistic conventions of Brazilian cinema.

It was led by a generation of young filmmakers that wanted to present their country’s social and economic realities through an artistic language that had previously been described as being “neo-realist” or “poetic realist.”

Elements of neorealism in the Cinema Novo may be found in its use of nonprofessional actors, location shooting, and lack of glitzy sets and costumes.

Additionally, its use of poetry and music were inspired by Italian neorealism.

However, unlike Italian neorealism which portrayed the social problems of post-war Europe, the Cinema Novo portrayed life in Brazil at a time when its economy was flourishing.

The Cinema Novo also used urban settings more than earlier Brazilian films. The movement has been compared with other national cinemas in Latin America during this period, including Mexico’s La Onda (The Wave) and Cuba’s New Cuban Cinema.

What Is The Cinema Novo Film Movement?

Tropicalia was a counterculture movement that challenged the status quo, as opposed to Cinema novo which focused on social issues.

The films of Cinema novo are characterized by their use of handheld cameras, natural lighting, and sound.

They also often include music videos in their films, a technique pioneered by Glauber Rocha in his 1967 film, Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (“Black God, White Devil”).

Cinema novo films often focus on the lives of poor people who live in urban slums.

Many of these films were produced by directors who had ties to socialist or communist groups.

Several of them were made with government assistance, but these financial ties led to controversy later when the military took over power in Brazil and moved against ‘leftists.’

The Three Phases Of The Cinema Novo Movement

The Cinema Novo film movement was founded as a protest to the artistic and economic monopoly of Brazilian films. 

It was created in 1961 when filmmakers, actors, critics and historians gathered to discuss the issues of their time and to protest against the government that did not interfere with their business.


The Cinema Novo movement hoped to break the monopoly of Brazilian films at that time which came from Rede Globo and its “Jovem Guarda” musical films. 

Rede Globo was a media outlet that dominated Brazilian films by creating films that appealed to both children and adults, usually having popular actors like Jorge Ben Jor or Elis Regina.

These films were also successful because they were distributed to smaller towns via television. This cinema was seen as corrupt by filmmakers because it did not address important issues such as racial inequality, poverty and drug use.

The Cinema Novo era took place in two phases: the first phase (1961-1964) was a period of renewal, in which the Cinema Novo artists challenged the older generations’ views on what constituted culture in Brazil.

The second phase (1965-1969) was an era where Cinema Novo became institutionalized through government funding

During this time, more people joined the movement as they saw it as a way to make money.

Directors Of The Cinema Novo Movement

The term “Cinema Novo” was coined by Brazilian director and critic Nelson Pereira dos Santos at a conference of 1959 in São Paulo.

The other three directors who worked alongside Pereira dos Santos were Glauber Rocha, Leon Hirszman and Paulo Cesar Saraceni.The movement followed other new cinemas around the world such as Italian Neorealism, French New Wave and Australian New Wave cinema movements.

The history of Cinema Novo should be understood within the context of Brazilian history from the 1930s to 1964. Following Getúlio Vargas’ declaration of the Estado Novo in 1937, Brazil enjoyed a period of economic growth under his highly authoritarian rule.

Brazil And The Cinema Novo Film Movement

The Cinema Novo movement is said to have begun in Bahia in the late 1940s, although it refers specifically to the Rio de Janeiro-based film movement of the 1960s. 

In essence, Cinema novo was a movement in opposition to the Cinema Marginal, which was very popular at the time and centered on violent gangsters or bandits.

Cinema Novo instead favored a sort of “naive” style that focused on social issues, often dealing with poverty and other problems faced by the country. The exact time period for Cinema Novo is unclear.

Some say that it began as early as 1945, when Nelson Pereira dos Santos made O Cangaceiro (The Bandit) with its emphasis on social commentary; others say that it began in 1962 with Glauber Rocha’s O Pagador de Promessas (The Provider of Promises), a film that is widely considered one of the most important works in Cinema Novo history. 

Regardless of what year one chooses to place the beginning of Cinema Novo, there were many films produced during this movement.

Some were successful critically and commercially, while others were not. Perhaps the most important aspect of Cinema Novo was its focus on social issues, particularly those dealing with government corruption and censorship.

History Of The Cinema Novo Film Movement

If you are an avid cinephile, chances are that you’ve heard the name Cinema Novo at some point. 

After all, the Brazilian film movement has been around for quite a while now, having begun in 1963 and having made a huge mark on the international film scene.

History of Cinema Novo – The Early 1960s

Cinema Novo is a term that was popularized by Brazilian filmmaker Glauber Rocha, who used it to describe his own filmmaking style during this time period. At first, it referred to the fact that these films were made without government funding.

However, later on, it came to refer to the socio-political ideas expressed in these films – their focus on everyday people, as well as their critical view of society and politics. The early 1960s were an interesting time in Brazil.

The country was experiencing rapid economic growth, but also facing political instability as a result of different opposing forces. There were military dictatorships and communist/socialist rebel groups with opposing views and goals.

As such, there was a need to express both sides of the story – a desire for social change and criticism of the ruling system that was so prevalent among filmmakers and artists during this time period. This is particularly evident in Cinema.

Top Cinema Novo Film Movement Pieces

The 1960s and 70s were known as the Cinema Novo period in Brazil. Much like the French New Wave, this had a big impact on the film industry in Brazil by creating a new movement in film making.

Named after a book written by French philosopher Andre Bazin, the Cinema Novo movement was actually created by a group of directors in Brazil who wanted to create more realistic films that were not influenced by Hollywood or European art house films.

 Cinema Novo is characterized by its focus on real-life situations, as well as its use of handheld cinematography since there were no budgets for expensive filming equipment.

This was also one of the few times when Brazilian filmmakers got to showcase their work at home since Brazilian censors would not allow them to be shown. The Cinema Novo movement was formed out of necessity and due to government censorship.

There was no way to make films that depicted what the filmmakers wanted to show so they went underground and created this new style of film making.They had little money so they used handheld cameras and cheaper film stock.hey filmed guerrilla style with hidden cameras when they could get away with it.

They focused on real life situations because they wanted people to relate to the films instead of having people watch something that wasn’t authentic to them.

Cinema Novo Film Movement Theory

“The Cinema Novo movement was a Brazilian film movement that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, inspired by Italian neorealism and French New Wave cinema. The term “Cinema Novo” itself is said to have been coined by filmmaker Edgar Pêra.

Cinema Novo is also known as the Third Cinema in its relationship to the First (documentary) and Second (classic fiction) Cinemas. Taken as a whole, Cinema Novo brought a new critical awareness to Brazilian society through film.

That awareness had been growing as Brazil began to address its cultural and social situation, especially under the military dictatorship that took power in 1964. 

In 1968, the military regime that had taken over in 1964 was facing growing opposition from political groups, students, professors and writers.

Cinema Novo was an outlet for those opposed to military rule. The filmmakers involved began their careers during this period, often making politically charged films even when they were censored by the government or not shown at all in movie theaters.

The original Cinema Novo movement ended with the 1973 coup d’etat that overthrew Joao Goulart’s (deposed president) democratic government and established a military dictatorship that would last for more than two decades.

The other main influence behind Cinema Novo was Brazilian social conditions

Importance Of The Cinema Novo Film Movement

A movement started in Brazilian cinema that was a reaction to conventional film making and filmmaking process. 

Cinema Novo (New Cinema) is considered to be one of the most important film movements in the history of Brazilian cinema. 

It challenged both the artistic and commercial status quo of Brazil’s film industry, which was previously characterized by the dominance of Rio de Janeiro as a center for film production, and its major studios, such as Cine Brasil.

This new movement was spearheaded by a group of young filmmakers, led by Glauber Rocha, who were reacting against what they perceived as complacency and lack of social commitment within mainstream commercial cinema.

Their manifesto stated that Cinema Novo was “dedicated to the creation of a national cinema”.

They also rejected “the falsification of life” in contemporary Brazilian films and wanted to produce films that would be more representative of Brazil’s social reality.

The time period in which this movement occurred was marked by turmoil in Brazilian politics, including a military coup in 1964, which resulted in censorship laws being enacted soon after; these laws were used to suppress Cinema Novo.

During this time, Cinema Novo filmmakers concentrated on getting their movies screened at festivals abroad (in Europe and North America) so that they could circumvent.

The End Of The Cinema Novo Film Movement

The Cinema Novo movement in Brazil began with a production company called Cinédia. They were interested in making educational films for the rural population of Brazil.

The students who made these films were all film enthusiasts who attended the University of São Paulo. The idea that they would have to make a career out of making Cinema Novo films was not something that came about straight away.

However, when the students had graduated, they needed to make a living and decided to produce more feature-length documentaries, rather than short ones.

 The name Cinema Novo (New Cinema) was coined by Nelson Pereira dos Santos and Carlos Diegues, two of the directors who were involved in the movement.

They wanted to break from the Old Cinema (Cinema Velho), which they believed was content with being merely an imitation of Hollywood.The Cinema Novo movement first started at the university and then quickly spread throughout film schools and later on into theaters across Brazil.

The most important aspect of Cinema Novo is thought to be its ethnographic element.

It is claimed that many modern Brazilian filmmakers are still working within this tradition and applying ethnographic subjects because these still have relevance in their lives today.