Brazilian filmmaker Carlos Diegues was one the key figures of the Cinema Nôvo movement. His films, like others of the genre, offered criticism of Brazilian social mores and structure and centered upon social injustice. The idealistic Diegues began his interest in social reform while studying law at Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. There he was active in academic politics and became a film critic and poet for a student-sponsored publication O Metropolitano. He turned to directing short films in 1960; four years later he made his feature debut with Ganga Zumba which decried the cruelty of colonial slave-traders. The film was a success and established him as a primary force in the New Cinema. Like many of its successors, the film presented contemporary concerns in a historical framework. In the mid-'80s Diegues reverted to the historical setting of Ganga Zumba when he made the epic Quilombo (1984), a film said to be Brazil's most lavish and expensively produced film. It is also considered one of his best, as its social message is well-integrated into a strong plot with believable characters.