In October 2015, an heritage related to Jorge Brum do Canto was donated to the “Governo Regional da Madeira”, by his nephew Nuno Alves Caetano, representing the family.
The Regional Government took the decision to permanent open the center to the public, dedicated to the life and work of this illustrious man of culture, with deep roots in Porto Santo Island.
The donation is essentially made up of a set of documents and personnel, related to Jorge Brum do Canto and related to the memory of the relations of the Brum do Canto family, of Azorean origin, with Portosantense lineage.
The documentary set was deposited in the “Arquivo Regional” and “Biblioteca Publica da Madeira”, where it will be properly treated and made available to the public.
This exhibition aims to illustrate the multiple interests of Brum do Canto, such as: actor (cinema and television), film critic, film director, president of the Union of Cinema Professionals, musician, decorator, poet, ethnologist, gastronomer, ichthyologist and sport fisherman.
The selection presented here was made of the donated set. It is intended that this exhibition can serve as a basis for future research on this multifaceted man who deeply loved Porto Santo.
Jorge Júdice Clean Brum do Canto
(Lisbon, February 10, 1910 - Lisbon, February 7, 1994)
Born in Lisbon, he was raised in a Catholic and monarchical family. He was the son of Salvador Manuel Brum do Canto (Azores 1885 - Lisbon 1918), lawyer and deputy for Madeira between 1906-07, and Bertha Júdice Rocha Rosa Limpo (Quelimane 1894 - Lisbon1976), lyric singer and author of “O Livro de Pantagruel”, Portuguese gastronomy icon.
Its family roots, originated from Madeira and the Azores, have made the islands always linked to his life. In Porto Santo, his paternal grandmother, Maria Amélia Vaz Teixeira Perestrello Drummond da Câmara Escórcio Henriques Brum do Canto, was the owner of vast properties.
Jorge Brum do Canto did his first studies in Lisbon at Anglo-Portuguese College, “Colégio Vasco da Gama” and “Liceu Pedro Nunes”. He attended Law at the University of Lisbon. He lived his childhood and youth in a family environment of cultural habits and refined artistic taste.
From a very young age he signed film reviews in “O Século” and in the magazine “Cinéfilo”. Collaborated in Image and Kino. In 1929 he became a film director with “A Dança dos Paroxismos”, where he was simultaneously director, editor, screenwriter and main actor. This film, as well as the next one, “Paisagem”, did not pass, by its determination, in the commercial circuit.
During his career, as a film director, he was responsible several times for the script, adaptation, editing, soundtrack, special effects and figuration.
He was a personality of great importance in the evolution of Portuguese cinema, contributing greatly to the affirmation of his identity.
Having started his career with inspiration in the French avant-garde, Brum do Canto asserted himself, in Portugal, in a conjuncture of state leadership. He was very interested in the evolution of cinema technologies.
He died on February 7, 1994, leaving no descendants, having a close family with a sister and three nephews.
He received several distinctions such as the “Ordem Militar de Sant´Iago da Espada”, the Popularity Award of the “Rádio e Televisão” Magazine, the “Óscar da Imprensa”, among others. Posthumously, he was awarded the “Grâ-Cruz da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique”.
1929 - Performs “A Dança dos Paroxismos.
1932 - 1934 - Directs a serie of documentary films.
1935 - Collaborates, as technical assistant to Leitão de Barros, in “As Pupilas do Senhor Reitor”.
1936 - Collaborates with Chianca de Garcia, as general assistant, in “O Trevo de Quatro Folhas”.
1938 - Writes, directs and edits “A Canção da Terra”.
1940 - Directs “João Ratão”.
1942 - Directs “Lobos da Serra”, with argument, dialogues, planning, poems and montage of his own.
1943 - Directs, plans and edits “Fátima, Terra de Fé”!
1945 - Produces, plans, edits and conceives the script for “Um Homem às Direitas”.
1946 - Perform “Ladrão, Precisa-se!...”
1947 - Supervises “Bola ao Centro”, by João Moreira.
1947 - 1953 - Collaborates with Manuel da Fonseca in “Seara de Vento”. This film was prevented by censorship.
1953 - Realizes “Chaimite”. With this film he won the SNI Grand Prix.
1962 - Presents “Retalhos da Vida dum Médico”.
1964 - Directs the film “Fado Corrido”.
1968 - Performs “A Cruz de Ferro”.
1984 - He makes his last film, “O Crime de Simão Bolandas”. It was shown in Funchal, on July 1, 1984, at Casino Park, during the tribute to actor Virgílio Teixeira.
Jorge Brum do Canto also intervened in some of his films as an interpreter: “Chaimite, A Cruz de Ferro and Fado Corrido”. On TV he participated in in “Doze Homens em Conflito”, “O Grande Negócio” and “Angústia para o Jantar”.
“A Canção da Terra” (The Song of the Earth)
“Nesse pedaço de terra perdida no meio do mar...”
"In this piece of land lost in the middle of the sea ..."
In 1938, he debuted his first feature film with a film shot in Porto Santo island: “A Canção da Terra”. He conquered criticism with his exemplary montage, the telluric strength of his images, gaining a special place in the history of Portuguese cinema, due to modernity and the rigor of the realization.
The film deals with the daily life, very difficult for the inhabitants of Porto Santo, the long droughts and the difficulties of agriculture. Some inhabitants of the island were even extras.
“Canção da Terra” premiered in “São Luís e Condes” cinemas on March 29, 1938, and at “Teatro Arriaga do Funchal” (today “Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias”).
Salvador Brum do Canto, amateur photographer, portrayed his long afternoons of leisure, the days of family outings. He captured instant shots that were immortalized from the island landscape, today important references of the island's architecture and living experience.
Jorge Brum do Canto, his son, will reveal the same curiosity. In addition to having immortalized Porto Santo in “Canção da Terra”, he will always return for long stays that they had hunting and on fishing adventures as the main reason for his fascination.
Brum do Canto was a nature lover and above all, of the sea. He was partner nº 1 of the Clube dos “Amadores de Pesca Português” (CAPP), in 1945. An excellent fisherman, he was a prominent personality in the implementation of sport fishing, fundamental in sea fruition, as well as other activities related to ichthyology and fish farming - his tribute to fishing in Portugal was the introduction of largemouth bass in national waters in 1952.
During the years he lived in Porto Santo, from 1953 to 1959, he was able to dedicate himself to fishing, a passion that accompanied him with the same enthusiasm that he dedicated to cinema and gastronomy. In 1954, Dr. António Ribeiro promoted “Pesca Grossa na Madeira” (Big Fishing Game in Madeira), which was joined by Jorge Brum do Canto. Madeira has become famous for this type of sport fishing, where blue marlin is sought by line, in a world competition that has always taken place on the 4th of July since that date.
The Gourmet Chef
The activity of gourmet chef was a constant in his life. Coming from a traditional family, holder of numerous recipes and culinary secrets, Brum do Canto has always shown interest in conceiving and tasting. There was a spice and sauces cabinet in his kitchen, and a home vegetable garden in the yard.
Jorge's close connection with his mother brought them together on this gastronomic journey. In addition, they shared the house, at “Avenida António Serpa”, in Lisbon, a taste for music and poetry. It was there that they both wrote, sang and played the piano.
Bertha Rosa-Limpo, her mother, was a woman out of her time: a successful lyric singer; creator of a cosmetics line, “Thaber” (anagram of her name Bertha); singing teacher, composer, interpreter, chronicler of the magazine “Modas e Bordados”, to which she added her passion for cooking. In the post-World War II period, Bertha launched a book of elaborate recipes, “O Livro de Pantagruel”, which was, for successive generations, a kitchen bible, a classic of gastronomic literature. Jorge was co-author, along with his sister, Maria Manuela Limpo Caetano, of the emblematic cookbook that is now in its 77th edition.
Institution in charge:
Regional Directorate for Culture
Porto Santo Island
Open Mondays and Wednesday to Saturday: 10 am - 12:30 pm - 2 pm - 5:30 pm
Sunday: 10.00h -13.00h
Closed on Tuesday and public holidays.
Months of July, August and September
Open Mondays and Wednesday to Saturday: 10 am - 12.30 pm - 2 pm - 6 pm
Sunday: 10am - 1pm
Closed on Tuesday and public holidays.
Normal: € 1.00
3rd Age: € 0.50
Youth Card: € 0.50
Groups: 0,50 €
With presentation of Casa Colombo ticket: € 0.50
Only for groups and by appointment