Brazilian PortugueseXica da Silva
Directed byCarlos Diegues
Written byAntonio Callado
Carlos Diegues
Based onXica da Silva by João Felício dos Santos
Produced byJarbas Barbosa
Airton Correa
Hélio Ferraz
José Oliosi
StarringZezé Motta
Walmor Chagas
José Wilker
Elke Maravilha
Stepan Nercessian
CinematographyJosé Medeiros
Edited byMair Tavares
Music byJorge Ben Jor
Roberto Menescal
J.B. Produções
Distributed byEmbrafilme
Release date
  • September 6, 1976 (1976-09-06)[1]
Running time
107 minutes

Xica (Portuguese: Xica da Silva) is a 1976 Brazilian comedy film directed and written by Carlos Diegues, based on the novel by João Felício dos Santos, which is a romanticized retelling of the true story of Chica da Silva,[2] an 18th-century African slave in Brazil, who attracts the attention of a powerful Portuguese land-owner and eventually rises into the Brazilian high society. The movie stars Zezé Motta, Walmor Chagas and José Wilker. It was chosen as the Brazilian submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 49th Academy Awards, but it failed to get a nomination.[3]


The film is based on the novel Memórias do Distrito de Diamantina, written by João Felicio dos Santos (who has a small role in the film as a Roman Catholic pastor). It is a romanticized retelling of the true story of Chica da Silva,[2] an 18th-century African slave in the state of Minas Gerais, who attracts the attention of João Fernandes de Oliveira, a Portuguese sent by Lisbon with the Crown's exclusive contract for mining diamonds, and eventually becomes his lover, rises into power and into the Brazilian high society of the time. Moreover, João quickly lets the intendant and other authorities know that he can be bribed, and gets onto their corruption scheme. Eventually Lisbon hears of João's (and Xica's) excesses and sends an inspector. José, a political radical, is another main character, who provides Xica refuge.


TV adaptation

In 1996, the now defunct TV station Rede Manchete successfully adapted the film plot to the telenovela format, directed by Walter Avancini, written by Walcyr Carrasco and starring Taís Araújo as the title character. This telenovela marked the first time an Afro-Brazilian actress played the lead role on a TV show. In 2005, SBT re-aired Xica da Silva.

See also


  1. ^ "Xica da Silva" (in Portuguese). Cinemateca Brasileira. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  2. ^ a b http://dicionarioegramatica.com/2015/12/06/chica-ou-xica-da-silva-o-certo-e-xica-ou-chica-da-silva/ Chica ou Xica da Silva? in: DicionarioeGramatica.com
  3. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


Gordon, Richard (2005). "Allegories of Resistance and Reception in Xica da Silva". Luso-Brazilian Review. 42 (1): 44–60. doi:10.1353/lbr.2005.0028. JSTOR 3514051. S2CID 143867441.