Xica da Silva
(also released as Xica
) is a 1996 Brazilian telenovela directed
by Carlos Diegues
. Brazilian novela stars actress Taís Araújo
as the title character. Its music score was composed by MPB
singer Jorge Ben Jor
. The film's plot is based on João Felicio dos Santos' novel Memórias do Distrito de Diamantina
and was adapted to screen by Antonio Callado and Diegues. Xica, written by Walcyr Carrasco and directed by Walter Avancini was first shown in Brazil from September 1996 to August 1997.
The novella is based on a Brazilian true story, which tells the story of the 18th century rise of a beautiful and ambitious slave
, Xica, who uses her wit and powers of seduction
to rise out of poverty
and eventually become Empress
. Xica is the illegitimate daughter of the town Comendador (commander), the officer appointed by the crown of Portugal
in the Brazilian diamond mining town of Tijuco. Unwilling to recognize Xica as his daughter, he tries to get rid of her by selling her into slavery. After the Commendador is sent back to Portugal, a new Commendador comes to town. Later on he buys Xica, sets her free and makes her his lover, giving Xica the power to do whatever she wants, including having slaves of her own, despite having been a slave herself. Xica thinks she has become indestructible until the Commendador is sent home and she is back to where she began, more or less a slave.