Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


Henry Czerny plays American journalist Michael Coleman, a strung-out expatriate writing for a Brazilian newspaper. His professional obsession is Father Stephen Louis. a wildly popular and charismatic priest who has been the major political opponent of the greedy and ruthless landowners of the Bahia region. Mysteriously, the usually outspoken Father Louis has been silent for three months. With the Brazilian Congress about to vote on a major land-redistribution bill that could potentially tip the balance of power even further, Father Louis’s support of the peasants and his condemnation of the landowners are more important than ever.

Coleman sets out alone for the politically unstable Bahia region to capture a highly anticipated interview with the elusive priest. Within the framework of a highly charged political thriller, Jenipapo is the story of a man left alone with only the frail tool of dignity with which to judge the consequences of his actions. Coleman makes a personal decision which reaches beyond the ethical pale of any journalist, knowing that it may alter history. Director Monique Gardenberg never moralizes, Henry Czerny is intense and focused, and Pedro Farkas’s cinematography superbly captures the heat and decay of the slums of Brazil.

— Christian Gaines

Screening Details

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