By Michael Sauter
Updated June 28, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Tragedy appears inevitable in the latest work by Walter Salles (Central Station), about a blood feud between Brazilian farm families. As you watch the impoverished Breves family toil on the sun-baked land while they await retribution in an endless vendetta, it’s possible to believe that dying will be a release. The story takes place in 1910, but Salles’ solemn tone and poetic imagery make it seem as timeless as a folktale.