Alberto Cavalcanti

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Cavalcanti, Alberto


Born Feb. 6, 1897, in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian motion-picture director.

Cavalcanti graduated in 1917 from the University of Genoa. In the 1920’s he joined an avant-garde film group in Paris, worked as an art director, and began directing in 1926 (his first film was Train Without Eyes). Cavalcanti’s documentary films Nothing but Hours (1926) and On Assignment (1927) differed from avant-garde films in their tendency toward social commentary and their portrayal of everyday life.

He moved to Britain in 1934 and joined J. Grierson’s group, becoming one of England’s leading documentary film-makers. (He also directed features in the 1940’s.) In 1949, Cavalcanti moved to Brazil, where he became a producer and founded the Cinefilmes Studio, which produced Song of the Sea (1954), a depiction of the hard life of simple people. Since the mid-1950’s he has worked in Austria, Rumania, Italy, Great Britain, and Spain.


Alberto Cavalcanti. Berlin, 1962.


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