“During the implementation of the Ciclo do Recife (1923-1931) — the Pernambucan capital became the center of cinematic production of 13 full-length films, which were played all over the city.”
“In the middle of the 1920s, a group of young cinematographers started making Pernambuco’s first silent films, giving birth to the Ciclo do Recife. Supported by their courage and irreverence, they gradually gained ground in society and were successful in their productions.
The neighborhood theaters threw parties for the local film premieres. Bands, posters and cinnamon leaves gave a unique characteristic to the environment and provided the joy of suburban society. Westerns and regional films mingled with romanticism and the social reality of the time.”
For a more detailed description (in PT) of this era of silent film in Recife, see the blog Ciclo do Recife, from which I got most of the information for this blog post. If you’re interested in searching out other films from the same time, here’s a list by year. As for what led me to look all this up, it was a short article (PT) in the Diário about the actress daughter of one of the pioneers of the movement.
Below, there’s a clip from a 1925 silent documentary called Veneza Americana (which is likely what Manuel Bandeira refers to in his poem Evocação do Recife).
(Here’s another clip from the film)
If you’d like to see the film online, you can do so at the BCC site. If you’d like to download all 68 minutes of the film, I looked through the source code and found the link (at 220 mb, the screen size is the same as on the BCC). For a book (in PT) cover the era, it’s called A imagem e seus labirintos – O cinema clandestino do Recife, by Paulo Cunha.