Synopsis by Mark Deming
One young man's forbidden love threatens to destroy his life and tear his family apart in this epic-length period drama from Brazil. In the early '40s, teenaged Andre (Selton Mello) is being raised in a strict and deeply religious home, where his father (Raul Cortez) is known to grill his children about his spiritual failings over the dinner table. However, Andre is being torn apart inside by his uncontrollable lust for his sister Ana (Simone Spoladore); a beautiful young woman, Ana unknowingly excited her brother's desires while dancing uninhibitedly at a community gathering, and now he's wracked with longing for her. Unable to remain at home with Ana, Andre runs away to live with his secret shame, only to be brought back into the family fold by his older brother, Pedro (Leonardo Medeiros). Andre confesses his unnatural desire to Pedro, but he finds that confession does little to ease his passion, and while Ana remains unaware of her brother's feelings for her, she is also being consumed with desires she cannot freely express until she once again performs a lust-addled dance at neighborhood festival. Adapted from a novel by Raduan Nassar, Lavoura Arcaica was written, directed, and edited by Luiz Fernando Carvalho; it was his first theatrical feature after a celebrated career in Brazilian television.