chapter  5
26 Pages

Mangue, Postmodernity, and the Global Culture Debate

Introduction The recent Carlos Diegues film adaptation of Jorge Amado's novel, Tieta do

Agreste (1996), offers a particular vision about the interplay of tradition and modernity in present day Brazil. The film centers on Tieta, a rich Sao Paulo widow (played by Sonia Braga) who returns to her hometown in the interior of Bahia, from which her father exiled her for losing her virginity many years earlier. On this return trip, Tieta deceives her Bahian family and the townspeople into thinking she and her stepdaughter Nora lead glamorous lives in the big city. Using her wealth and influence, Tieta challenges and flagrantly disrupts the value system of the community, which is in awe of her; Tieta's family lust after, and bend their morals to get closer to, her money and lifestyle. Serving as a symbol for the untouchable, wealthier industrialized South, Tieta also brings modernity to Santana do Agreste by succeeding in getting the state government to install electric light in the quaint northeastern town.