Helena Ignez and Paulo Villaça in The Red Light Bandit (1968)
Helena Ignez and Paulo Villaça in The Red Light Bandit (1968)
The Red Light Bandit (1968)

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

The Red Light Bandit

Rogério Sganzerla | Brazil | 1968 | Unclassified (15+)

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Wed 25 Oct 2023

Based on the real-life São Paulo criminal João Acácio Pereira da Costa, who was arrested only a year before the film’s release, this “western about the Third World” (trailer) channels true outlaw aesthetics. A scrappy, collage-like and heavily Godard-influenced feature debut from 21-year-old Sganzerla, it became a key work of Cinema Marginal, returning the wider Cinema Novo movement to its original social and political focus. In 2015, it was voted the 6th greatest Brazilian film of all time by Associação Brasileira de Críticos de Cinema. To be preceded by two shorts by the key woman filmmaker of the Cinema Novo movement: A Entrevista Helena Solberg (1966) 20 mins – Unclassified 15+; and Meio-dia Helena Solberg (1970) 10 mins – Unclassified 15+.

Format: DCP
Language: Portuguese with English intertitles
Source: Mercúrio
Runtime: 92 mins

Event duration

92 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Also screening on Wed 25 October

About the program

The 1960s was a time of great upheaval in Brazil, as it was the world over. During this rich cultural period cinema went through a moment of radical flux, as did music and the other visual arts. Shadowed by a decade of repressive dictatorship, censorship decrees, and an exodus of dissidents, many of the films produced experimented with narrative, design, collage and music..

Read the full program notes
Now! Crime, politics and revolution in 1960s Brazilian cinema

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About Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven. 

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