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Films >> How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês) (1971) >>

0:00:30 Latest news from Colligny
Letter of Villegagnon to Calvin, dated 31st of March, 1557. While Villegagnon's letter is read, the scene shows the arrival of the French and their encounter with the Tupa. They try to clothe them; but they don't get used to wearing robes, and they decide to escape throwing away white rustic robes that the French had given them. Some of the Frenchmen follow the Tupa. The last part of the scene reflects the distortion between the text of the letter and the reality. The scene shows a chained Frenchman who is pushed into the sea instead of an "unchained" man who breaks loose and willingly throws himself into the sea.
0:04:30 Credits
0:07:10 Abbe Thevet text
Partial translation of the original text: "In Sao Vicente lived the Portuguese, enemies of the French." Abade Thevet.
0:07:24 Miraculous escape
The Frenchman reaches land. He slowly walks, lifting the chains attached to his right foot. He rests on a tree. He uses the ball at the end of the chain to break open the shell of a fruit. He walks along the shore carrying the ball on his shoulders. He spins around till he falls. A Tupiniquin watches him from behind the fence and cries "A Frenchman."
0:09:55 Captured by the Tupiniquin
Four Tupiniquins capture the Frenchman and take him to the camp. One of the Tupiniquins announces: "It will be a nice present for my uncle. He hasn't tasted a Frenchman yet." They unchain him. The Tupiniquin suggests taking him to the captain, but the Portuguese argue that he'll have to fight on their side till they get to Sao Vicente. At night, the Frenchman falls asleep at his post, and one of the Portuguese kicks him to wake him up. The following morning, they're attacked. They try to escape, but they can't. Two of the Tupiniquins are killed.
0:12:35 Captured again by the Tupinamba
The Portuguese and the Frenchman are captured. The Tupinambas fight over the Frenchman. One of them wants to kill him because he argues the Frenchman is Portuguese. The other Tupinamba wants to keep him alive. They make their prisoners speak, but they do not notice any difference between the languages. The Portuguese sentences are translated but not the ones in French. When Cunhambebe, who's wearing a feather tail, brings another Portuguese, he does the same test: he asks both the Frenchman and the Portuguese he has just captured to speak, but he cannot tell the difference. When they show him the Frenchman's cannon, he smells it and decides that he's Portuguese and that he's his since they have eaten "the other one." He wants to show the new slave to the women. The other Portuguese are killed. He makes the Frenchman carry one of the cannons, and they walk to their settlement.
0:16:47 Hans Staden text
Text: "My Lord, if I must die a barbarous death, let it be at the hands of someone who knows you." Hans Staden.
0:16:56 Entering the Tupinamba village
The women are excited to see Cunhambebe and the "beautiful slave." They say that "the food has walked to" them. They playfully bite the sides of his body. The men run to the entrance of the settlement. General excitement.
0:17:43 No haircut for me
When the women try to shave the Frenchman, he says that he wants to die with his beard. The men spit in the cannons and listen to them. A Tupinamba man states that Cunhambebe has brought good slaves and asks him when they'll start the war.
0:18:04 Frenchman on display
The women tie a rope around the slave's waist and make him walk around the tents. Children and women cheerfully follow him.
0:19:02 Padre Achieta text
Text: "They are like tigers, naturally cruel, friends of War and enemies of Peace." Padre Anchieta.
0:19:12 Getting a wife
The men take the slave to his tent. Seboipebe, a Tupinamba woman who is to become his wife, gives him two "sticks" and sprinkles them with water. Cunhambebe explains that the prophet had predicted that they were going to capture a strong Portuguese. When the Frenchman tries to stand up to protest, Cunhambebe pushes him down arguing that the French don't kill Tupinambas. They have knives, combs, and that he has none of those things. He adds that the French also trade wood and pepper, but the slave is nothing like that. Cunhambebe then announces that the slave will die on the eighth moon. Seboipebe hangs a necklace with eight stones around his neck. Then, she gives him food.
0:20:44 Not (yet) sleeping with the enemy
At night, Seboipebe first tries to climb into his hammock, but he moves and she crouches again. She then scares him by biting his neck when he was asleep.
0:21:55 Pero de Magalhaes Gandavo text
Text: "To the European friend, they deplore the bad luck of their ancestors who have not known such a virtuous people." Pero de Magalhaes Gandavo.
0:22:06 Enter the trader
The women welcome the trader and mention that the dead will be sad that day because they won't be able to see all the presents that the trader has brought them. Seboipebe tells the trader that her husband Tapirucu, who was killed by the Portuguese, claims vengeance. The Frenchman's wife explains that the prophecy has come true and that Cunhambebe has brought a strong Portuguese. She also tells the trader that the slave says he's French and that he refuses to sleep with her.
0:23:40 Let's trade
Cunhambebe interrupts the women. The trader tells Cunhambebe that he has brought them many trunks, but this time he wants much more wood and pepper. Cunhambebe doesn't believe that the trader has come that far just for wood.
0:24:55 Bring in the new slave
The trader speaks in French with the slave. The Frenchman begs him to tell the savages that he is French, that he was forced to leave the fortress, and that he was caught with some Portuguese. To the Frenchman's surprise, the trader tells Cunhambebe that the slave is Portuguese and that they can go ahead and eat him. The Frenchman insults the trader and is taken away.
0:26:10 Let's make a deal
Before leaving, the trader goes to see the Frenchman in his hut and gives him an axe as a present. The Frenchman tries to kill him, accusing him of being a traitor. The trader explains to the Frenchman that it is very difficult to deal with the savages. He mentions that the Frenchman has still eight months and till his death he'll be very happy and perhaps he could even escape. He tells the Frenchman that the woman by his side is his wife and promises to make a deal with him when he returns—he'd take him along and give him some money to start a new life. In the meantime, he should collect wood and pepper for the trader.
0:27:21 Gabriel Soares de Souza text
Text: "The French took with them every year thousands of quintals of Brazil wood." Gabriel Soares de Souza.
0:27:33 Collecting wood
Husband and wife work together collecting wood. She collects pepper and helps him carry the logs and the axe.
0:29:07 The belly button
She goes for a swim in the sea. When he sees her, he follows her. He notices that the coin she has in her bellybutton is very valuable and asks her where she got it. She explains that Tapirucu stole them from the Portuguese.
0:30:00 Sleeping with the enemy
They're sleeping in the same hammock for the first time. In the morning, she asks him if he's going to look for wood. Two young women look at them from a distance. She insists in going to look for wood because her husband might get angry. He argues that Tapirucu can't see anything and explains to her that he wants to "stay home."
0:31:07 Tell me about Mair
The Frenchman asks his wife to tell him about her ancestor, the great "caraiba." She tells him that he taught them how to build houses, how to shave, how to build weapons, how to plant crops.
0:31:45 A new haircut
They are by a river. She's cutting his hair.
0:31:51 Building a house
They start building their own house. The Tupinambas look from the settlement. The wife continues telling how Mair had built the strongest house.
0:32:37 The warrior dance
While the men dance a warrior dance, the narration about Mair continues. Seboipebe explains that "the new god built a small village with brick and stone-walled houses, with streets and squares, barracks for the warriors, and a castle for the council of chiefs."
0:32:53 The exhortation
Cunhambebe states that both the Tupiniquis and the Portuguese are enemies "till the very last day."
0:33:22 Jumping the fire
The narration continues telling us that the men were jealous of Mair and asked him to jump through a fire. The scene shows the Frenchman jumping through a fire.
0:33:27 The house burns
Mair's house was burnt. The scene shows the Frenchman's new house on fire.
0:33:37 My husband
The Frenchman and his wife are in the river swimming and kissing while the narration explains that Mair "fell and was burned alive and that thunders and tempests came out from his head." They go down the river in a canoe. When they start walking, she calls him "my husband" for the first time. He smiles. She shows him her husband's grave.
0:34:31 Working with the women
The scene shows the couple working with women and children.
0:34:37 The former husband
He taught them how to have big crops and that he worked with women and children. Men were busy fishing, hunting, and preparing for war.
0:35:04 Laughing-stock
This scene shows husband and wife working the land together while a group of men laugh at them from a distance. A Tupinamba with a tail of feathers runs to tell Cunhambebe about the situation. They mockingly say: "Look at the Portuguese. He goes around only with women." The women laugh too. Cunhambebe arrives and grabs the slave by the hair and takes him to the settlement.
0:36:45 Weapons specialist
The Frenchman shows them how to operate the cannons. The Tupinambas observe how he loads them and how he fires them.
0:37:15 Target practice
Cunhambebe shows the Frenchman how to use a bow and arrow. They practice along the beach. Cunhambebe notices Portuguese footprints on the sand.
0:38:15 Live action
They follow the footprints, and they see two Portuguese men, who start running after they notice they've been discovered. The Frenchman and Cunhambebe split. The Frenchman sees one of the Portuguese and asks him to stop. The Portuguese hits him with his gun and runs away. The Frenchman shoots an arrow into the Portuguese that is being chased by Cunhambebe. Cunhambebe shoots an arrow to the one that has hit the Frenchman. They go to fetch him.
0:39:32 I want gunpowder
Cunhambebe tells the trader that he wants gunpowder. The trader explains to him that he's brought him many boxes with axes, beads, and combs for the wives. Cunhambebe insists that he wants lots of gunpowder. The trader tells him he'll bring gunpowder later from "the father," who's sailing to Rio now.
0:40:38 Bargaining
The trader goes to see the slave. He tells the Frenchman that he tried to save him, but he couldn't. The Frenchman tells the trader that he might be interested in what he has to offer. The trader says that escaping is impossible. The Frenchman wants gunpowder for himself. The trader argues that he can't negotiate with him because as a slave he cannot possess anything.
0:41:37 It's a deal
The Frenchman holds his wife's hand and shows the trader the coin she has in her belly button. The trader agrees to bargain. The scene changes locale, and we see Frenchmen delivering ten barrels of gunpowder to the slave. They hide the barrels near some rocks. All the Frenchmen except the trader and the slave return to the ship.
0:43:26 Digging for gold
The slave and the trader go by canoe to Tapirucu's grave. The Frenchman removes the tomb's decorations and starts digging. After he shows the trader the skull, the trader starts digging with his own hands and finds a bead necklace. The trader brings an empty barrel, and they start putting the coins and the beads in it. The Frenchman tells the trader that they'll split the booty half and half. The trader refuses, arguing that they had made a deal. He runs away with the barrel. The Frenchman catches him, and they fight. The Frenchman kills the trader, and he buries him in Tapirucu's tomb. He puts the tomb decorations back in place, and he takes the barrel to the canoe.
0:47:29 The siren call
He starts rowing towards the French boat; but when he sees his wife, he decides to take her with him and rows towards her.
0:48:29 Trying to persuade
First, he grabs her and tries to carry her with him by force. She refuses and runs away. He changes strategies and tells her not to be afraid. He will show her things she's never seen before and that only his cousin has. He wants her by his side. He'll give her lots of beads. When she finally surrenders, they notice the French boat is far away. He tries to call them back from the top of a rock, but they don't hear him. She approaches him and tells him that they will come back and that she is not sad.
0:50:17 I want revenge
A Tupinamba chief is angry because the trader has brought lots of trunks full of combs and mirrors but no gunpowder. He states that he cannot kill the Portuguese with those trinkets. He wants his own personal revenge. He lifts his axe and starts running after those present in the tent. Everybody disappears except the Frenchman and Cunhambebe.
0:51:40 Chasing the Frenchman
When the Tupinamba chief sees the Frenchman, he announces that he'll kill him and that he'll die as an animal. He starts chasing the slave.
0:52:00 Giving him what he wants
The Frenchman tells the Tupinamba chief that he can make powder with the help of Tupa, the god of thunder. The Tupinamba chief keeps chasing the slave. The Frenchman specifies that he can make gunpowder out of sand and pepper. He promises that they'll hear Tupa speak that night and that he'll bring the gunpowder the following day.
0:52:39 De Lery text
Text: "They believe in the immortality of the soul, in thunder and devils. It seems that this seed of religion grows and doesn't extinguish in them, despite the shadows in which they live." Jean de Lery.
0:52:50 Waiting for gunpowder from the gods
At night, the Tupinambas are sleeping. When a thunder is heard, the viewer gets close-up shots of Cunhambebe and Seboipebe's faces.
0:53:22 So little?
In the morning, the Frenchman enters the village carrying a barrel of gunpowder. Women, men, and children follow him. He puts the barrel in front of the chief's tent. The Tupinamba chief opens it. Then he asks why he has brought so little gunpowder if Tupa had spoken so much. The Frenchman promises to make more. He follows his wife.
0:55:08 Hiding his cache
He hides the treasure under a rock and lies in a hammock. His wife peels a banana for him, and he asks her if there's a feast in the settlement since he could hear their singing.
0:55:50 Praying for rain
Seboipebe explains to him that the chiefs are praying for rain. He looks at the sky and then walks to the top of a rock to see if it was likely to rain.
0:56:20 The rain dance
In the settlement, Cunhambebe is also looking at the sky. Men and women are dancing around a fire. Some are playing instruments. Cunhambebe incites them to continue till Tupa speaks. The scene shifts from the settlement to where the Frenchman lives, and both shots show how both Cunhambebe and the slave are looking up to the sky.
0:57:22 It works!
The sky darkens, and they hear a thunder. The dance has worked, and their prayers have been answered.
0:57:45 Saying goodbye
The Frenchman brings several barrels of gunpowder to Cunhambebe. He announces that he'll build a house near the chief's and that he'll leave on the first ship that arrives because his uncle is waiting for him. He'll return to live as a friend and to make more gunpowder.
0:58:10 Must fight first
Cunhambebe grabs him by the hair and tells him that he must fight by his side first.
0:58:50 Planning the battle
Cunhambebe explains to the Frenchman the strategic plan. The slave will fire the cannons. He has sent for all his relatives. They'll attack the Tupiniquis with all their strength. The Frenchman listens and shakes his head. Cunhambebe mentions that the only thing they're missing is "helpful dreams."
0:59:10 Thevet text
Text: "The natives believe that the soul of those who conquered their enemies will go to pleasant places." Abade Thevet.
0:59:13 Visiting the shaman
Cunhambebe, the Frenchman, and his wife go to visit the shaman. They enter into a cave and shout "Chief." When they find the shaman, he tells them that their ancestors agree that it's time to revenge. He predicts that they will kill a large number of enemies. Cunhambebe tells the shaman that he has dreamed of his father looking for him. According to the dream, Cunhambebe returns from war.
1:00:53 Off to battle
Images of Tupinambas carrying the gunpowder and the cannons to the canoes.
1:01:26 Seboipebe possessed
Seboipebe starts dancing and falls to the floor possessed. She announces: "The sea will watch the end of the Tupiniquis. Cunhambebe will know how to beat them."
1:02:08 The battle
A large number of Tupiniquis are waiting for the Tupinambas who are approaching by canoes. Unsuspectful of the cannons, they're surprised when the Frenchman lifts the leaves that covered the cannons and fire them. The Tupiniquis start running away and the Tupinambas land on the shore and chase them. The Frenchman fires the cannons again. Then they fight with arrows and the Tupinambas win. Shot of numerous dead bodies lying on the shore.
1:04:48 Nobrega text
Text: "In this country, no Governor, no Bishop, or other authority could please God, our Lord, for the evil is much impregnated in the customs. Father Nobrega -- Missionary." Padre Nobrega.
1:04:59 Celebrating the victory
Everybody is dancing in the settlement celebrating their victory. The women display the new prisoner by making him run around the settlement. He has a rope around his waist, and one of the women pulls the end of the rope leading the way. Images of women, children, and men dancing and shaking maraca-like instruments. Some of the men are wearing colorful feathers on their backs, arms, and heads.
1:07:01 The time has come
Cunhambebe goes out of the tent, grabs the Frenchman by the hair, removes the two remaining stones from the slave's necklace, and announces in public that the slave is ready and that they'll eat them by that moon. Iparaguacu will receive the slave's left arm; Mbitata will get the right arm; Seboipebe will have his neck
1:07:57 Are you going to weep?
They ask the Frenchman if he will die as a brave man or if he'll weep as the Portuguese. They dance around him.
1:08:20 The rehearsal
The Frenchman takes a look at the treasure; but when he notices that his wife is approaching, he hides it back. She brings him some corn and asks him why he has gone there. He explains to her that he wants to make some more gunpowder for his master. Seboipebe tells him that it won't rain before the feast, and the Frenchman argues that Tupa does not need rain to speak. Seboipebe asks him if he's going to weep. She confesses that she'll be sad. The Frenchman asks her if she'll eat him all the same. She nods. He asks her what he should do during the feast. She gives him a detailed explanation. He should behave as a brave man. They go to the top of a rock, and they practice. First, he has to run like a warrior so that he is respected. Then, the women will paint his head, and he has to dance tied to a rope. Finally, Cunhambebe will bring the "iperanema." He can throw fruit to those who will eat him. Cunhambebe will say: "I'm here to kill you, because your people have killed many of ours"; and he is supposed to say: "When I die, my friends will come to revenge me." She asks him to repeat the sentences twice because he omits the first part the first time he says it. Seboipebe explains to him that two warriors will be holding his rope and that Cunhambebe will beat him on the head. Seboipebe pulls him down and tells him that then the women will pour hot water on his body and he will be cut in pieces. She lies on top of him and starts biting his neck. They start rolling down the rock and make love.
1:13:29 Attempted escape
He wakes up and notices that his wife is not by his side. He goes to pick up the barrel with his treasure and walks towards the canoe. Seboipebe sees him and shoots an arrow that hits his thigh. He falls to the floor. He keeps on crawling to the canoe, but when he reaches it, he realizes he cannot use it. It's full of water and leech. He looks up and sees his wife at a distance pointing her bow at him.
1:15:11 The real thing
The Frenchman's body is fully painted. He's throwing fruit to the women who are mocking him. Two warriors are holding the rope that is tied to his waist. A Tupinamba chief goes to pick up the "iperanema" and gives it to Seboipebe who makes a sign in front of her husband. She hands it to Cunhambebe who approaches the slave and tells him that he's there to kill him. Seboipebe approaches him to remind him the words he's supposed to say. However, instead of repeating them, the Frenchman pushes her away and says: "My friends will come to revenge me. No one of yours will remain upon this land." Cunhambebe kills him.
1:18:08 The cannibal feast
Everybody starts dancing in circles after Cunhambebe kills the slave. Cunhambebe carries the two cannons on his shoulder and fires them. Close-up of Seboipebe eating her husband's flesh while two more shots are heard. A cloud darkens the faces of the men who are singing.
1:19:10 Mem de Sa text
Text: "I fought on the sea, so that no Tupiniquin remained alive. Laid along the shore, the dead covered almost a league." Mem de Sa, Governor-General of Brazil 1557.