Glauber Rocha returns once more to the scene of his most famous film "Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol" (Black God, White Devil, 1964), revisiting the steppe landscape of the sertão and Antonio das Mortes, killer of the cangaceiros. A large landowner has once again employed him to do away with the troublesome bandits and religious fanatics. Antonio changes sides however, going from the oppressor's henchman to a helper of the oppressed.
Glauber Rocha sees this story, which is based on the legend of St. George, the dragon killer, as an allegory for the Brazilian military dictatorship, which took on its most repressive form in 1968/9. The film refers to this both in seemingly inconspicuous scenes as well as in various outbursts of violence. The "evil dragon" represents both the large landowner and the ruling generals. In terms of form, Glauber Rocha also explores new avenues here. Instead of making use of the dynamism of rapid cuts, he employs long plan sequences as a technique intended to direct the viewer's attention on to what is occurring within the image. Having already become a legend himself, Brazil's great director reaches new artistic heights with this film.