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A Matadeira (1994)

| Short
The historical conflict of Canudos is told by Pedro Cardoso, who plays five different characters. Going from a teacher to historical characters, the actor shares an overview of the battle ... See full summary »


Jorge Furtado


Jorge Furtado




Credited cast:
Lisa Becker Lisa Becker ... Narration (voice)
Régius Brandão Régius Brandão ... Sobrevivente (credit only)
Pedro Cardoso Pedro Cardoso ... Professor / Prudente de Morais / Inlander / Antônio Conselheiro / Preacher
Carlos Cunha Carlos Cunha ... Narration (voice)
Antônio Carlos Falcão Antônio Carlos Falcão ... Maria Xana
Débora Finocchiaro Débora Finocchiaro ... Brasilina; Inlander


The historical conflict of Canudos is told by Pedro Cardoso, who plays five different characters. Going from a teacher to historical characters, the actor shares an overview of the battle between religious leader Antonio Conselheiro and the army forces sent by president Prudente de Moraes to fight the peasant rebels in the 1890's. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

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Crazy Credits

The film opens with a quote that is sung towards the end. "Those who listen and not learn, those whose know and not teach until the Judgment Day thy soul will suffer." See more »

User Reviews

Canudos Conflict in a nutshell
3 July 2020 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

History was never more fun and intelligently conceived as the one presented in this great short by Jorge Furtado ("Ilha das Flores"). The tragic conflict that happened in the Northwest of Brazil in the late 1890's is presented with an important context on why the government of Prudente de Moraes fell against the poor rebel peasants fighting against social injustice - the problematic started with the rich businessmen who imposed several working difficulties the poor workers after problems grew when the British empire wasn't buying cotton from Brazil (important trading product back then) and the excessive weaponry given to our government which was heavily used against the people in Canudos. The American Civil War from previous years also had a large part in that as well. By the time one watches the epic "Guerra de Canudos" one gets the sense the religious crowd led by Antonio Conselheiro was just a bunch of anarchists, when in fact they actually had a good cause thuough a lost one.

The multi-talented Pedro Cardoso is the one who takes us back to the conflict by playing five different characters: a teacher from the present days who tells viewers the forementioned insight; the leader Conselheiro urging his followers to take up in arms and fight; the Brazilian president on the other side; an Inlander with his family describing the conflict around them; and a preacher.

Mr. Furtado makes a funny mixture of characters, time periods, settings and objects in order to compose his didatic short film. Bear in mind that such didatic isn't used here as a preachy way to teach History. He makes things simple, objective and fun to watch by making use of comedic sketches.

However, it all ends as in real life a huge conflict that led to the killing of Canudos habitants. The Matadeira of the title refers to the cannonball part of the heavy artillary used by the army against the population, and a new weapon in the armed forces predominantely sold by the British in exchange for cotton and other products in the final days of monarchy in Brazil. Since those guns weren't used by the king, it just stood there quiet until Canudos make countless attacks against the military leading to highly successful events. 9/10

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