In the remote, northern badlands of Brazil, The Breves (poor sugarcane farmers) and the adjacent Ferreiras families (better off cattle growers) have been feuding for generations, one killing a reply to the one before. Always about bits of land, always the sons seeking vengeance, in an endless blood ritual. As the eldest of the three Breves brothers is shot, it is 20 year old Tonho’s (Rodrigo Santoro) turn to avenge him, much to the consternation of his kid brother (Ravi Ramos Lacerda). One day, a man (Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos) and a pretty young woman (Flavia Marco Antonio), who work as travelling circus performers, pass by and the brief encounter triggers life changing consequences for all concerned.


The year is 1910, and in the parched north-east of Brazil neighbours are engaged in a bloody vendetta. This is sugar cane country, and the pitiless sun that beats down on the barren land seems to have exacerbated local tensions. The oldest son of Breves (Jose Dumont) has been killed and his blood-stained shirt hangs on the line; when the red stains turn yellow, it's time for the next killing, and Breves despatches his oldest son, Tonho (Rodrigo Santoro) to carry out vegeance. And so the cycle continues; Tonho will be the next victim, but in the meantime, he and his kid brother, Pacu (Ravi Ramos Lacerda) go to the nearby town where a travelling show is visiting and where Tonho falls in love with Clara (Flavia Marco Antonio), a beautiful entertainer.

Behind The Sun is based on an Albanian novel, Broken April, with the action transposed from the Balkans to Brazil. The plot is the least successful element here; the feud, as presented, is so pointless and ritualised that the inability of anybody to call a halt to it is extremely frustrating. The film`s main asset is the beautiful photography by Walter Carvalho, which vividly conveys the heat and the austere grandeur of this country. But fans of Salles' previous success, Central Station, are likely to find the material in the new film perilously thin.