Toda Nudez Será Castigada (1973)


Written, produced and directed by
Arnaldo Jabor

“Winner of the Silver Bear at the 1973 Berlin Film Festival, ALL NUDITY WILL BE PUNISHED is the story of a wealthy widower, Herculano (Paulo Porto), and his son, Serginho (Paulo Sacks), each of whom has embraced celibacy but for different reasons. Breaking Herculano’s vow is a challenge too good to pass up for his brother and he finds a way to lead Geni (Darlene Gloria), a vivacious prostitute and nightclub singer, to his palatial home. In this subversive satire and a direct attack on upper-class hypocrisy, Geni soon breaks down the facade of respectability as father and son find themselves in a ménage à trois the results of which leave no one unscathed. ALL NUDITY WILL BE PUNISHED has gusto, bite and a witty vulgarity that MAY announce a new phase of Brazilian filmmaking.”

“Herculano (Paulo Porto) is a middle-aged, respectable, strict Catholic bourgeois and recent widower. Desperate with grief, he moves back to his brooding family house, with his 3 MacBethian spinster aunts and his sleazy no-good brother Patricio (Paulo César Peréio), who introduces him to prostitute Geni (Darlene Glória). At first disgusted by the idea of betraying his wife’s memory, sex-starved Herculano can’t help falling head over heels for Geni — and, amazingly, vice-versa. They decide to marry, but Herculano’s bilious teenage son Serginho (Paulo Sacks) is ready to do anything to prevent it. Geni becomes an involuntary weapon in the father/son war, with tragedy waiting around the corner.

Tied with Nelson Pereira dos Santos’ “Boca de Ouro” (1963), “Toda Nudez…” is probably the best film adaptation of a text (in this case, a play) by the great, controversial, inimitable Brazilian playwright and journalist Nelson Rodrigues (1912-1980) — who, by the way, heartily approved of this version. Director Arnaldo Jabor manages to translate to the screen Rodrigues’ tragic, melodramatic and satirical universe: forbidden sex, incest, greed, hate, envy, sin, rape, homosexuality, violence, sadism, masochism, all caused by the “Great Trio of Evil” (Family, Guilt and Catholic repression). It’s a film of excesses, and rightly so; subtlety was foreign to Rodrigues. His characters don’t just love or hate; they love and hate to death. It’s a world of doom, extravaganza, consumption. And also of comic relief, in a sarcastic mode: instead of criticizing society through comedy, Rodrigues uses tragedy.

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