Sex & Food in Cinema: “Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands” (1976)

Sex & Food in Cinema Series

"It's a very tricky dish."


The Crabmeat “muqueca” Scene. 

Based on Jorge Armado’s 1966 comic novel set in in Bahia, Brazil of the 1940s, the 1976 screen adaptation directed by Bruno Barreto (“Four Days in September” (1997), (Bossa Nova (2000)), was one of Brazil’s highest grossing films (long before 2010s Elite Squad: The Enemy Within).

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands 1976 theatrical film poster. Sex, Food and Cinema series from Liquescence.

The story is fantastical: Dona Flor’s irresponsible, randy husband Vadinho (played by José Wilker) keels over dead while dancing at Carnival. This scene takes place on the day of the funeral (before she remarries) when Dona Flor (played by Sonja Braga) is shaken but stricken with the idea that she’ll never be with Vadinho sensually again, as her husband, with all his faults, was also a true maestro of the erotic, and for Dona Flor, a lover extraordinaire that taught her about passion and desire. Basically, he turned her out. She remembers his favorite dish, crabmeat “muqueca” (Portuguese: “stew”). Flor, who runs a cooking school, walks us through the recipe and how to cook it in her imagination.

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