Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Queimada / Burn!

Marlon Brando and Evaristo Marquez in Queimada (1969)

For some reason there are not many films about Caribbean slave revolts against European colonialism, but by far the best I have ever seen is this anti-imperialist classic starring Marlon Brando and directed by the late great Gillo Pontecorvo. It also has a terrific score by Ennio Morricone. As one film buff notes, the film demonstrates

Pontecorvo's blending of cinematic romanticism with an analysis of black revolutionary struggle which is part Marx and part Franz Fanon. Unlike The Battle of Algiers, which made use of a cinema vérité style to tell the story of an actual liberation struggle, Burn! is a political allegory, styled like a costume action-adventure picture. The setting is a fictional sugar cane-producing Caribbean Island named Queimada...



At 9:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superb movie. I saw if for the first time last winter and was immensely moved.

If you haven't done so already, also check out his THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS.

At 10:18 pm, Blogger Mark202 said...

I have to agree. there is not much films about Caribbean slave revolts, which is a rich history.

But Peuimage/burn is a classic I also enjoy watching.

At 3:20 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

One of my favourite scenes is when the Antilles Royal Sugar Company takes over the island (they hoist a flag up with the quite appropriate initials 'A.R.S.C.' on it)...

At 2:51 pm, Blogger ajohnstone said...

Burn is available to wtrch online at the veteran anarchisrts Stuart Christie's movie website at


Plenty of other classics there too


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