Release Date: 1996 Duration: 107 min
Cast: José Wilker
Xica da Silva (released as Xica in the United States) is a 1976 Brazilian film directed and written by Carlos Diegues, based on the novel by João Felício dos Santos pt:João Felício dos Santos. It stars Zezé Motta, Walmor Chagas and José Wilker. It was chosen as the Brazilian submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 49th Academy Awards, but it failed to get a nomination. The film is based on the novel Memórias do Distrito de Diamantina, written by João Felicio dos Santos (who has a small role in the film as a Roman Catholic pastor). It is a romanticized retelling of the true story of Chica da Silva, an 18th century African slave in the state of Minas Gerais, who attracts the attention of João Fernandes de Oliveira, a Portuguese sent by Lisbon with the Crown’s exclusive contract for mining diamonds, and eventually becomes his lover. He quickly asserts control, letting the intendant and other authorities know that he’s onto their corruption scheme. Eventually Lisbon hears of João’s excesses and sends an inspector. José, a political radical, provides Xica refuge.