Rede Globo is Brazil’s largest commercial television network, the largest, in fact, anywhere in the world outside of the United States.
For more than thirty years, they’ve been spending a good deal of money researching what their audiences want to see.
And then a good deal more producing programming based upon what they’ve learned.
That’s right. Producing. None of Globo’s prime-time shows are ever imported, and none are bought from third parties. All are produced “in house”. It’s the key to Globo’s success.
Most of those programs consist of nighttime soap operas, with production values as high as you’ll find anywhere in the world, but with content that isn’t much better than pap.
Occasionally, however, they aim a bit higher.
A Casa das Sete Mulheres, takes place in the southern part of Brazil, and part of the story dramatizes incidents in the life of Giuseppe Garibaldi and the woman who became his wife.
Yeah, that’s right.
Turns out, the “Father of Modern Italy” wasn’t born in Italy at all. He was born in Nice, then, as now, French territory.
He became a sea captain, and when he was sentenced to death for revolutionary activities in Europe, fled to Brazil.
There, he participated in a secession movement not unlike that of the Confederate States, during the American Civil War.
And just as ill-fated.
During the conflict, and at the age of 31, he met Ana Maria de Jesus Ribeiro, aged 18, who became his partner and comrade in arms. She was reputed to have been an excellent horsewoman, and she fought beside him at the battles of Imbituba and Laguna.
Here’s a statue of the two of them, erected in Porto Alegre, in the heartland of the rebellion. ( Garabaldi is regarded as a hero in that part of Brazil.)
In 1841, Giuseppe and Ana fled to Uruguay, where Garibaldi became a trader and schoolmaster before taking command of the Uruguayan fleet to participate in that country’s war against Juan Manuel de Rosas, the Argentinean dictator.
Giuseppe seems to have been a guy who simply couldn’t keep his nose out of a fight.
In Montevideo, in 1842, he and Ana finally got around to getting married. By that time, they already had one child, a boy. Subsequently, they had three more, two girls and another boy.
She was bearing his fifth when she died.
That was in 1849. She was, by then, only a few days short of her 28th birthday – and she was campaigning with him in Italy.
Anita, as he called her, remained a presence in Garibaldi’s life to the end of his days.
And, in 1860, when he rode out to Teano to hail Victor Emanuel II as king of a united Italy, he wore Anita's striped scarf over his South American poncho.
Brazilian women can have that kind of lingering effect on a man.
I, too, married one.
The House of Seven Women, to give the series its title in English, has been sold to 42 different countries.
If it appears in yours, and if you’re a male, you’ll enjoy the drama, the photography, the costumes, the sets, the acting, and what you’ll learn about the man behind the legend.
You ladies get all of the foregoing and then some.
Here's another shot of Thiago Lacerda
He plays Garibaldi, and my daughters insisted I include at least two photos of him in this post.
On account of because he’s so “hot”.
Leighton - Monday