Glauber Rocha’s deconstructed messianism

Romare Bearden, Memory of Pittsburgh, 1964


The theme of reconstructing the symbolic forms of religion permeates the deep reflection on the underdevelopment of culture in Glauber's work

De Barravento (1961) to The age of the Earth (1981) the theme of reconstructing the symbolic forms of religion permeates the deep reflection on the underdevelopment of culture in the work of Glauber Rocha. This figure of how the deconstruction of religion emerges from an allegorical principle that appears in all religious mythology is something that unifies Glauber's reflection on cinema as essentially political cinema.

Glauber Rocha, even when he tried, made poetry a movement of asceticism of characters born from the earth to the trance of food that was not nourished by the intense way in which the absence of the emancipatory element brought to the heart of the issue. For example, it is from the deep cut between dialectical emancipation that Antônio das Mortes wanders through the Shell gas station at the end of The dragon of evil against the holy warrior.

It is therefore a common situation, in order to establish the worldview of Glauber's many premonitions, that the return of northeastern people to development, today coming from state means of production to promote emancipation, as is the case of the family allowance, does not it would be nothing more or nothing less than conservative. The change that would bring something new to the job market would remain wild through the clothing, the culture that cannot be deconstructed and this enigma that is the perception of being on the margins of society, represented through the dance and music at the end of the film.

How can Glauber Rocha situate religion as a condition of misery? Through the folklore of mythology that permeates the religious beliefs of the many ways of adapting reality. However, the notion of ‘criticism’ in Glauber has a double function in the sphere of the same currency. Firstly, it is necessary to state that religious belief does not find belief in the reality of its belief in the sea of ​​its allegorical manifestation. In other words, the formation of religious thought and folklore that install culture and civilization side by side converges in a process of deconstruction of messianism, as every religious form of knowledge is an allegorical construction of the indicative metaphor.

Secondly, folklore is subservient to the dialectic of master and slave, with someone who exchanges roles without there being a social correlation at the same level. Therefore, teaching how to fish does not always guarantee successful fishing, which, by the way, previously occurred successfully. This is because the sociological dynamics of change in the public sphere of the communicative link between slave and employee only occurs, in effect, when the conditions for changes are in fact real. Here again is Antônio das Mortes, in his same backlands clothes, going through capitalism without changing his instincts in the slightest.

Now, the criticism of folklore in Glauber Rocha has this critical-libertarian mechanism, but with the foundations well laid in a critique of the worldview of a world image that becomes a worldview. It's just that not every deconstruction of the Western promise of the hermeneutic legacy of the object of exchange was through the allegorical route. Quite the opposite. Slavery, extermination, the submission of an attack to the signifier could produce evil, which, in Glauber Rocha, is poeticized to allow it to be justified in an asceticism from hunger to death. Paulo Martins earth in trance, between poetry and politics, challenges the link of contradictory truths and, for this reason, stands in the middle of the way, like a monolith representative of its author.

Beliefs that are not found in Barravento They are the aid for a change of perspective in the general perception of a sea that no longer serves us food and that therefore logically demands change. Ultimately, the people of The dragon of evil against the holy warrior Those who pause duels to eat dried meat with flour need this well-being to perceive the gap between the metaphysical feeling of completeness with a cultural system and modify it through the rhythms of music and fights.

Glauber Rocha's worldview, then, has this latent ambiguity of metaphor in the language game of criticism of folklore. Firstly, it is necessary to extend the presentation of the mise-en-scène from the religious way of facing reality to in-depth criticism, through the allegorization of the productive processes of folklore, the deconstruction of the mainly mythological layer of religion. It is the example of The Age of Earth in his post-cinema postulate: if the representation of fiction no longer serves as a linguistic basis for good entertainment information devoid of political aestheticization, it is therefore necessary to deconstruct it through, as a Citizen Kane Tupiniquim, the way the narrative is elaborated.

It is therefore a logical matter to invert the narration into fragmented subjectivation productions in the elliptical montage, the interviews about the historical economic situation of Brazil and, often, the very idea of ​​the spirit of the work: that of many Jesuses, each one deconstructing a thematic object of culture extended from hunger through the process of sublimation of pain to a change of attitude.

Secondly, folklore is not destroyed, mutilated or mitigated. Based on the idea of ​​internal logical inversion, the deconstruction of the religious quality of discriminating the real by constructing the symbol in front of the sensitive sign without effect on the knowledge of that reality, Glauber Rocha messianizes the metaphysical procedure attributing meaning that allows itself to atrophy to finally allow unblocking the open veins of this general magic that permeates the collective imagination of what ultimately is the colonizer's idea of ​​what Brazil is.

It is therefore the idea of ​​the belief that we all know what the dialectic of the modes of production of the nation's knowledge is that is pulverized. After all, our vision, given the circumstances of TV above all, is the accumulated set of a worldview colonized by ourselves. This is where the process of alienation meets the process of the ideology that refounded the idea of ​​Brazil. Now, Brazil is not an image, a character or a State: it is, above all, a civilization to be created, on portions of land and sea, as it is hungry for the idea of ​​itself.

The novelty of Glauber's analysis of folklore lies not in the immersion of a category of thought, the deconstruction of dialectical processes, but in the idea that a nation is first and foremost the history of its problematizing reading processes: who made civilization out of barbarism , the people or the genius of the race? Who is responsible for the continuous alienation in the virtual means of production of sensitive reality today, the people themselves or the big tycoons with an extended family who milk the information? Who, finally, is a condition for the alternation of status quo social, is the government, which is not executive Brazil in democracy, or the people themselves through the movement of critically feeding on the great central axis of formation of executive, legislative and judicial powers.

To conclude, in brief paragraphs we can situate the condition of folklore that animates the collective or documented imagination, represented in The age of the Earth, between the subjectivation of the means of production and alienation. In an inversion of Nietzsche's logic, in Brazil we do not create idols, but symbols of overcoming, so that the example becomes the level of a turning point in each person's social character.

Because we don't have the figure of genius like German folklore does. We do have the idea of ​​those who exceeded expectations in a certain area of ​​knowledge, from dance to combat sports. The construction of the itinerary, then, between the messianism necessary for the alternation in the world image, from alienation to critical knowledge, permeates the allegorized idea of ​​symbols, such as our saints and caboclos.

Glauber Rocha's thinking is so profound in this regard that he knew, like no one else, by the way, to think about Brazil through its deepest roots: the interpretation of the culture of the original peoples who simply celebrate without religious respect the many forms of attribution of links between representation and religious entities of the colonizing European people. (Just remember the scene of the discovery of Brazil in earth in trance, where what should be modesty for feeling naked turns into aversion for the war armor of the many meanings of a single action that is colonizing.)

What is messianism then and how does it coerce Glauber Rocha's thought into a meditation on forms of symbolic attribution to social roles? To what extent does the change in aspect arise, from alienation to deconstruction? If we can risk, among the enormous range of writings produced about the author, some original content, we believe it is in the idea that our way of life is not a fixed given, from a sociological point of view.

The social picture portrayed by Glauber is unlikely to give a single character a single social role. The characters change without changing the face, and it is necessary to expect, if not progression, the alternation of the self, of a teacher who becomes an activist, and so on. The secularization movement of the process of habituation of a social character with reality, then, depends on the institution of the symbol to make the, after all, revolution happen. But we need to be less unilateral, including this worldview that alternation will make us a civilization. Messianism is a discourse aimed at constructing change not in reality itself, but in the real meaning in the revolutionary actions of each social figure that alternates.

To conclude, therefore, it is necessary to rescue in other texts, in a biblical flood in which we and animals are saved, a contradictory character such as the Bahian genius Glauber Rocha and his thought, deep and lateral, unilateral and allegorical, religious and skeptical … we need to have idols.

*Eduardo Novaes holds a master's degree in philosophy from the Federal University of Bahia.

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