Film Analysis of Behind the Sun

By Davis Perkins

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Pacu Receives the Book

Analysis- Throughout this film, contrast in color plays a very large role. There are very few points in the movie that show color and represent life. The book is one of them, being a symbol of the enjoyment of life and the pursuit of happiness. As Pacu receives this book, he is given a dream to make reality, and a destiny to meet.


Concrete - In this image, it is seen that Pacu is receiving a book in which he will later on learn to love. As one concrete element, there is a contrast in color between the left side of the image and the right. The circus people who gave Pacu the book are one of the only colorful aspects of the film. The majority of the rest is monochromatic. As another concrete element, the book that is given to Pacu as a piece of color, his own world that he can escape to, and dream in. The environment that surrounds him is bland, and it is the book that is his own piece of color to keep.


Abstract- The book itself represents the experience of life and freedom that Pacu desires. It is given to him by the ones who understand this feeling, and want him to understand also. It is freedom for Pacu to enter into his own world of imagination. As soon as it is given to him, Pacu is free to dream, and create his own life. Once he is given that book, he can never let go of the life he wants to experience. He realizes his destiny through it.



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The Oxen Circle By Themselves

Abstract- The scene of the oxen going around the mill by themselves without the coercing of a master is symbolic of many things as a whole. The nature of the scene creates a sad tone, with the setting sun and the bleak outlook on Tonho's life. The Oxen go round and round but never go anywhere, as do the characters in the film. After going through a depressed cycle, with no life and fulfillment, it becomes second nature to go through the motions, as represented by the oxen. This is evident in Pacu and Tonho's life. They are both coerced to go around endlessly, wasting energy, for no fulfillment, and to never truly experience life.


Concrete - The free sky and lofty clouds meet the desolate grounds and bland, planar landscape. The sun setting reflect another day passing, another day without life. The visual as a whole is heartfelt, and pulls from the emotional side of the viewers mind, to help understand the life of Pacu and Tonho, one without vibrancy, one that just repeats it's bland nature.


Analysis - This is a very symbolic scene, and develops a strong allusion to the lives of Tonho and Pacu. It fits the theme of the movie that idealizes the contrasts of color, and plays in part to the dead end lives that the boys are living. With just a touch of color, their lives can be changed, and can stop going round and round in a never ending cycle that leads to a bleak turnout. The oxen did not seem significant to the viewer, as they were just a part of the environment, being coerced by their master, and serving their duty to the family. But it is the environment that creates some of the strongest motifs to the plot.

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The Circus of Life

Analysis - In an environment where color is lacking, and the idea of "monochromatic" plays large in part, the circus is one part that stands out. The circus creates excitement in the life of these boys, and is one of the only parts of color that exists in this movie. It is the circus, and it's fire-breathing girl, Clara, that gave Tonho his first taste of life. With Clara, he experiences love, fun, joy, and most of all freedom. He leaves his bland environment behind to experience the opportunity of freedom. This feeling he experienced is something that cannot be taken away, and from that point on, he is to never let it go.


Abstract - The dancing flames that border the tent illuminate the environment, and are symbolic of vibrancy, and animation. They burn life the souls of those who are free, such as the circus people themselves, warm with emotion and feelings. This circus is one of the only parts of this film that represent life with the color that it boasts.


Concrete - The figures of the viewers are silhouetted against the tent to draw focus solely on the stage itself. The flames are the only piece of this scene keeping the environment from being plunged into complete darkness. It is made to create a coziness and warmth within the viewer, as almost to act as a safe haven, as it is for Pacu and Tonho.



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The Rival Family Lies

Analysis - As the old man of the rival family , whom decides the way of the truce, is blind, the rest of his family lies to him about the color of the shirt, breaking the immediate truce and sealing Tonho's fate. This is a very pivotal moment, and one that also plays into the "colors and contrasts" theme of the movie. The sun sets on this scene, making it once again another day heading towards the bleak end of life. It is a depressing tone, one that creates fear, and a notion of impending doom.


Abstract - As stated, the shirt's color is red, making it stand out in the environment, but this time not as a symbol of life, but a symbol of death, and terror. The setting sun infers the end of Tonho's time to live.


Concrete- The colors are meant to set a downward tone of end and fate approaching. They create a sense of nervousness for the viewer as to create suspense. The right side of the sky shows a possible storm on the horizon, also to create suspense. The way the shirt hangs seems to resemble in a way the crucifixion method with the arms pinned high and the body hanging limp under them.

Note - There are two points for each concrete and abstract "bullet."