The film Gabriela tells the story of a young woman who abandons her home and finds herself in Brazil. A bar owner named Mr. Nacib is out looking for a new cook and stumbles upon Gabriela. She becomes his house maid and chef. Before too long the two find themselves in a hot sexual relationship. Gabriela is a great chef and lover to Mr. Nacib. Before too long the rest of the town discovers how beautiful and tempting Gabriela is and she loves the extra attention.
In an attempt to keep Gabriela to himself; Mr. Nacib makes her his wife. She is satisfied with her life and wants nothing extra from Mr. Nacib. However overtime their relationship loses its fire and Gabriela begins to secretly sleep with other men in the town. We are also introduced to other women in the town, who are as equally faithless to their men. In Susan Besse’s article CRIMES OF PASSION: THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST WIFE KILLING IN BRAZIL, 1910-1940, she states that “a married man who discovered his wife in the act of committing adultery had the legal right to kill both her and her suitor, and the social custom of doing so did not die with the formal abrogation of this right (653).” In this society a man was a cuckhold if he didn’t fulfill his right to kill his wife and her suitor.
So this leads me to think what is worse: killing or adultery? The law leads me to believe that adultery is no worse than murder. However if I put myself in that situation I don’t think I could end two peoples lives over cheating.
Gabriela continues her adultery and we see the inevitability that Mr. Nacib will catch her in the act. When he does; he pulls out his pistol, enraged and points it at both Gabriela and her suitor. At this point he has the legal right to end both their lives, but he can’t bring himself to do it and kicks both of them out of his house, telling Gabriela that he doesn’t want to see her face ever again.
Mr. Nacib begins to look for a new wife. But he struggles to find anyone like the woman Gabriela was to him. As the movie comes to an end, Gabriela presents herself to Mr. Nacib at his house. He can’t resist and the movie ends with the two in bed again.
I was a disappointed in the way the movie ended. I would have liked to see Mr. Nacib with a new women but Gabriela was too tempting for him. I couldn’t believe how many women were unfaithful to their husbands through out the movie. In a society where adultery was so common, finding a true woman to be yours must have been very refreshing for those who did.