Throughout the years 1953-1979, bloomed a popular Brazilian cycle of films closely related to the North-American Western gender. Notwithstanding, these Westerns fell quickly into oblivion, mainly due their lack of aesthetics innovations and their undisguised commercial drive. Nevertheless, once it was bound to satisfy the collective phantasies of its audience, the corpus of these films displayed a plethora of representations pertaining to their sociocultural, historical and political environment. They provided a profuse amount of audiovisual material open to researches in a variety of fields – gender representation, psychosocial culture, authoritarian politics and ethics – which are still at work in actual Brazilian social, institutional and political practices. And since they were bound to please a masculine audience, Brazilian Western movies framed a striking fictional world underlined by the psychoanalytical theme of the figuration of women as the absolute model of alterity. Women were usually placed as imaginary emblems of private property, democratic values and/or Christian faith, which, by their turn, performed dramatically under three signifiers: the “Bull”, the “Bullet”, and the “Bible”. Depicted not as proper characters and deprived of dramatic motivations, they were, by consequence, liable to specific modalities of physical violence – abduction, torture, rape and murder. Cruelty against the feminine body blended together the misogynistic bias of Brazilian culture with the masculine impotence during the authoritarian dictatorship epoch in a framework which could only be furnished by the imaginary themes and structures of Western movie.
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