Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
Adapted from a novel by Alvaro Crvalhal, the plot concerns Marguerite (Oliveira's favorite leading lady Leonor Silveira), a high-society woman who marries a wealthy Viscount (Oliveira's favorite leading man Luis Miguel Cintra) over the objections of her jealous ex-lover, Don Juan (Diogo Doria). On their wedding night, the Viscount reveals to Marguerite his darkest secret, which leads to a devilish, uproariously funny climax that must be seen to be believed.
It sounds like Cannibals abounds with the odd humor that runs through much of Oliveira's work: consider the unexpected cat-hurling gag in Abraham's Valley, the morbid punchline that concludes the seemingly gentle A Talking Picture, or Oliveira's supremely eccentric decision to adapt Camilo Castelo Branco's novella Doomed Love nearly word-for-word. By showing this movie as part of their "Night School" series (typically an outlet for cult items), the folks at Facets seem to be drawing attention to how much of a kook this erudite director can be. That's not such a bad thing, considering his movies play almost exclusively to serious art house crowds in this country when they play here at all.