Rocha's film debut: The fishermen in a village in Bahia on the north coast of Brazil have to rent their net from a trader and give up 90 percent of the catch. What's more, the net owner keeps threatening to take their tools away from them. The black community, like two years later in "Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol", does not rebel; they endure exploitation by the white crook in the belief that one day the gods will help it out of their misery.
Firmino, a young man with new ideas who has returned from the city to his village, rebels against fatalism. He cuts the fishermen's net, which belongs to the merchant, in order to persuade them to help themselves. Glauber Rocha, in his first work, draws not only the rhythm of his sequences, but also the essence of his narrative from the sometimes calm and sensual, sometimes excited and inexorable play of sea and earth. By describing the simple life of the slave descendants, he anchors his film in reality. The film resembles a free, unleashed poem and still grips today through the charisma of its images.
«Glauber Rocha's debut feature, which opened the Pandora's box of his genius.»― Ciro Guerra