Aleijahindo: Passion, Glory, and Torment | Chicago Reader

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Loosely based on the life of Brazilian sculptor Antonio Francisco Lisboa (1738-1814), this by-the-numbers biopic follows the artist from his birth to an African mother and a Portuguese father through his illustrious career and the mysterious illness (probably syphilis) that crippled him. The most interesting element of his story—his mixed ancestry, which put him in a position to exploit his fellow Africans in the gold mines of Villa Rica—is dropped after a while, the better to focus on his physical agony, and he exists in such a rarefied world that the struggle for Brazilian independence barely grazes him. Geraldo Santos Pereira directed. In Portuguese with subtitles. 100 min.

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