Ruy Guerra

Active - 1962 - 2015  |   Born - Aug 23, 1931   |   Genres - Drama, Epic, Musical

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

International filmmaker Ruy Guerra is primarily known for his innovative work in Brazil's Cinema Novo movement during the '60s and early '70s. Born in Lourenco Marques, Mozambique, a Portuguese colony at the time, Guerra's love of cinema began in his youth where as an adolescent he published stories, essays and articles on film criticism. He also used 8mm film to teach himself filmmaking. By age 19, Guerra had become a left-wing political activist, taking part in anti-racist and pro-independance demonstrations. After leaving Mozambique in 1951, he studied filmmaking at IDHEC in Paris; he then began working as an assistant cameraman and assistant director in France. He made his directorial debut with The Unscrupulous Ones (1962), one of Cinema Novo's few mainstream successes. Because of its graphic presentation of sexual violence the film was very controversial in Brazil. In addition to directing, Guerra has also been an editor, cinematographer, producer and actor and frequently co-writes the films he directs. His films are known for their stylish exploration of socio-political issues. During the late '70s, after Mozambique was de-colonized, Guerra returned to his homeland to help the newly created national film institute. He also made Mueda (1979), the country's first feature film.

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