Mauro, Humberto (1897–1983)

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Mauro, Humberto (1897–1983)

A pioneer of Brazilian cinema, Humberto Mauro made films pursuing Brazilian themes over a fifty-year period. Until the mid-1930s, his work focused on his native state of Minas Gerais. In his first film, Valadião, o Cratera (1925), a five-minute silent short, Mauro showed a group of thieves and indigents robbing and marauding in the Minas Gerais mountains. His masterpiece, Ganga Bruta (Rude gang) (1933), is a work of formal experimentation that combined expressionism and editing techniques developed in the Soviet cinema. It tells the story of an aristocratic man who kills his bride during their honeymoon in order to rebuild his life. The generation of Cinema Novo in the 1960s saw Mauro as a paradigm of avant-gardism and creativity. Mauro was one of the first filmmakers to show the everyday life of a Brazilian favela (slum) in Favela dos meus Amores (Favela of my loves), in 1931.

See alsoCinema: From the Silent Film to 1990; Cinema Novo.


Johnson, Randal, and Robert Stam, eds. Brazilian Cinema, expanded edition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.

Schvarzman, Sheila. Humberto Mauro e as imagens do Brasil. São Paulo, Brazil: UNESP, 2004.

                                   Paula Halperin