According to French film historian Georges Sadoul, the Brazilian film pioneer Humberto Mauro (1897-1983) had a singular poetic style. This documentary, made by his grand-nephew André Di Mauro, shows this very well. Shots from Humberto Mauro’s films – he made about three hundred – are accompanied by voice-over excerpts from interviews his son made in the 1960s.
Mauro was self-taught and interested in photography. He had an eye for beautiful compositions and a preference for nature. Even though the filmmaker, born in the province of Minas Gerais, had regional roots, his films have a universal quality. He was disappointed by the advance of the modern age. "Progress is not photogenic”, was the opinion of the man who preferred the "poetry of the waterwheel". Yet he moved to Rio de Janeiro and recorded Brazil's gradual urbanisation in his features (Ganga Bruta, O Canto da Saudade), documentaries and commissioned films.