David Knight - 1st Mar 2018

Brazilian director Douglas Bernardt travelled to Cruz das Almas, Bahia to make this compelling, beautifully shot video for Tagua Tagua - the solo project by Felipe Puperi from Wannabe Jalva - chronicling the remarkable Fire Sword War, that takes place in the region every June.

As this tradition, to celebrate the St John feast days, involves groups of young men firing off powerful fireworks directly  towards each other, it's incredibly dangerous and expressly forbidden by law. But it's been happening regardless for decades, involves many local people - and leads to numerous serious injuries every year.

Reflecting the lyrics of the song Rastro de Pó, which talks about memory, light, shadow and legacy, Bernhardt's film tells the story of how mothers and children can get caught up in this dangerous tradition. Bernhardt's video presents a slighty dramatised version of events, but there is no question about the veracity of this 'Fire Sword War as its shown in the video. Those are definitely real fireworks fired at real people.

“We were amazed by the strength of the tradition, the legacy, what is passed from generation to another – it’s very powerful in this town," says Bernhardt. “I was always fascinated by cultural manifestations that are typically Brazilian and the challenge of how to portray them through a cinematic perspective. When we came across the Fire Sword War in Cruz das Almas, we felt that the song had such a strong connection to the essence of the tradition. It was a perfect match."

PRO Credits


DirectorDouglas Bernardt
Executive ProducerIngrid Raszl
Director of PhotographyAdolpho Veloso
Art DirectorLauren Ferreira
Production CoordinatorRogério Maestro
Production CoordinatorPaula Macedo
Production ManagerTai Gidi
StylistBetinha Magalhães
1st ADTiago Cavalcanti
Make-upMarie Thuarount
EditorVictor Cohen
VFXDanilo Abraham
VFXVictor Cohen
Grading companyBleach
Other creditsMain Cast: Loo Nascimento, Heric Leopoldina, Felipe Bacelar 1st AC: Alexandre Bellelis 2nd AC: Walter de Abreu Production Coordination Assistant: Mariana Kerche Production Assistants: Cainã Brasileiro, Paula Amália Anias Rodrigues, Franciney Luiz Bacelar dos Santos, Gil Santos, Laise Castro Special Thanks: Prefeitura Municipal de Sapeaçu, Secretaria Municipal de Educação de Sapeaçu, Colégio Estadual Dr. Eliel da Silva Martins, Magnólia Jesus da Silva, Ubirajara Leopoldina (Rasta), Maria Antonia Silva Simas (Toninha), Edvalda Anias Costa (Dona Val), Ana Lucia França, Maria Helena dos Santos Lima, Prefeitura Municipal de Cruz das Almas, Evangelista Souza Vieira, Jucimare da Silva Vieira, Anderson, Bruno da Paixão, Ney Bacelar, Jackson Nogueira Cerqueira (Jaquinho), Daniel Santos Souza (China), Vanilson Amorim da Silva, Tarciso da Paixão Silva, Edmilson Jesus da Conceição, Steve Melo, Damião dos Santos Souza, Samuel Souza Santos, Renilson dos Santos Conceição (Tucano), Henrique Bacelar, Luiz Henrique dos Santos Mutti, Martiniano Aquino, João Marcelo Torres Brito, Terezinha de Jesus, Antonia Braga Machado (Dona Toninha), Raimundo de Jesus Passos (Di Menor), Henrique Leopoldina, Jorge de Jesus Passos (Toninho), Danrlei Vieira Castro, Dionaton Vieira Castro, Paula Amália Anias Rodrigues, Dewison Anias Rodrigues, Milena de Jesus Oliveira, Ana Cristina França de Almeida (Bizuca), Cristiane Conceição Souza, Maria José Menezes (Dona Bia), Leidiane Conceicão Souza Oliveira, Marilene Silva Conceicão

David Knight - 1st Mar 2018

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