Terra queimada

Director(s): Jacobo Paz Limia
25 min

That's your island. Queimada.

One of the hundreds of islands

of the Lesser Antilles. Here, have a look.

Thank you.

You know, most of what you see here

on the windward side is the wild part.

The sugar plantations

and the main port are to leeward.

There's only about 5,000 whites here.

The population's mostly black or mulatto.

The blacks, of course,

are slaves except for a handful...

whose owners freed them

for one reason or another.

"Queimada" means "burnt". In fact,

the Portuguese had to burn the island...

to put down the resistance of the Indians

when they took it.

And since the natives were all killed,

they brought in slaves from Africa...

to work the cane fields.

That large, flat, white rock you see offshore

is called...

"Cemitrio Branco dos Negros..."

because the bodies of slaves who died

during the trip over were thrown there.

They say they lost

nearly half of the poor beggars.

That exceptional whiteness there

seems, in fact, to derive from the dust...

of their bones, which have penetrated into

and merged with the rocks.

No, wait! I want to control the number

of cases before you unload!

English, huh?


Out of the way!

Your bag, senhor?

Yes. All right. Take them.

No, that can wait.

As you wish.

Sir William Walker?

Did you have a pleasant trip, sir?

Yes. The gray dolphins followed us

all the way.

The gray dolphin, you know,

has always been a friend of the mariner.

And the sailor, of course, has always been

the friend of the gray dolphin.

Too late, Sir William. Santiago was caught

10 days ago with all his men.

He's locked up in the fortress.

I'm afraid it's only a question

of hours for him.

Now you will see.

They're even going to chop his head off.

I know.

Then they will carry it around the island

as an example.

I knew of her husband.

I knew about your husband.

I never met him but...

It is because of him

that I have come to Queimada.

I am not Portuguese.

I am a friend.

Do you understand?

I would like to meet one of his friends.

One of his real friends.

I ask nothing else.

I don't want to know anything more.

One. One only. Just one.

That's all I need.

What is needed here

is someone with courage.

Someone who knows he has

nothing to lose, and yet is not afraid.


You, there! Who gave you that money?

Give it back to me!


You see?

Don't go, Mr. Walker.

Without you, nothing will ever be done.

It's finished here.

I wasn't aware that anything had started.

And Santiago?

Santiago's dead.

Stinking, lying, black ape!

You filthy thief, you did steal my bags,

didn't you?

- Sim.

- Well, where are they now?

I don't know. I don't know anymore.

- But you did steal them, didn't you?

- Sim.

- It is true, isn't it?

- Yes.

No, it's not true.

You did not steal them.

You gave them to my friend, that's all.

Nobody stole them. Do you understand?


So, you did not steal them?

Then why did you say you did?

Because I said you did?

Yes, senhor.

Because anything a white man says

is right, isn't it?

Yes, senhor.

If I were to say that your mother

was a whore...

would that be true?

Is it true?

My mother is dead.

But you knew her, didn't you?


What was she?

Say what she was!

Go on! What was she?

Go on, say what she was!

Say it!

A whore, senhor.

Well, I was mistaken.

I thought you were someone else.

What's your name?

Jos Dolores.

Here you are, Jos. Forget about it.

It was just a bad joke.

Come on. Let's go then!

Well, now I believe we have something

to talk about.

Are they all here?

There are 100 million in gold reales.

All we have to do is to take them.

Fifty for you, fifty for me.

Do you agree?

They call it the Bank of the Holy Spirit.

Now, it's very simple.

There's an outside gate, then a large door...

an inside gate and then the safe.

Now, you enter, you take the gold,

you load it onto the cart...

and you cross the island to the village

of which I told you.

Now, that is the ship. Look.

So, I shall sail her to the other side

of the island, then we'll go away.

Go where?

- Well, I to England. You, wherever you like.

- Even Africa?

Yes, even to Africa.

But why?

No matter, you have time to think of it.

Now, is the rest understood?

Yes. We walk in and take the gold.

But what about the Portuguese?

At that moment,

they'll have something else to do.

All right, I'll leave this map with you.

I think we know where the village is.


- That's all.

- Good.

Would you like to taste some rum, senhor?

All right.

Well, I'll taste your rum,

but you must try my whiskey.


To the Holy Spirit and its bank.

We drink to England.

- To Africa!

- E ao mundo!


- Sade!

- Salute!

There is free rum for everybody!

There is enough for all.

Why you bring rum instead of water today?

Came down from heaven?

Don't worry, old man, today's a holiday.

That gold cost a lot.

What are you doing here?

Where are you going?

Stop there.

What do you got in here?

Come on, speak up. What is it?

Bananas, senhor. What else?

Bananas, huh?

And what's this? A case of bananas?

Very heavy bananas, huh?

Well, Portuguese die, too.

Better hurry up. I'll see to the ship.

But you be quick, Ingls.

Yes, here.

Here's the plantation roughly,

and here's the path.

And it's this village here.

It's a village of ex-slaves, I believe.

Yes, a village of bandits.

Their leader, Santiago,

came from just around there.

Well, in any case, it's a very wealthy village,

because they bought all my goods...

you see,

and then they paid for them in gold reales.

Are there many blacks

as rich as that on the island?

No. Just how many were there?

Roughly, I'd...

Not more than four or five.


Because that gold has been stolen

from the Bank of Queimada, senhor.

- You don't say.

- Yes.


- There are soldiers.

- Yes, I have seen them.

The boat?

It's over there, behind the soldiers.

And us?

I brought weapons.

But then, we're rather few, aren't we?

I don't suppose they like the Portuguese

any more than we do.

Let's see,

perhaps there's some people up there...

who'd be willing to help us.

No, no one will risk being killed

for a dislike.

Least of all for our money.

Well, you ask them anyway.

Maybe they'll help.

I am sorry, friends...

but the Portuguese are coming.

They will be here at any moment.

I am sorry it happens here...

here, in your village...

but we can't let the soldiers take us.

Don't you agree?

Maybe most of you will be better off

if you went away.

Up to the sierra.

Better to hide the old ones...

the women and the babies.

But if there are...

any of you who are not old...

not women...

and are really men...

someone who in life, at least once...

have thought of killing

his Portuguese master...

then now is the time to act.

Portuguese can be killed.

I will prove it to you.

Can you use rifles?

First, I'll show you how to load it.

Now, a measure of powder.

Then the hemp.

A measure of lead.

Again, the hemp.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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