Augusto Matraga is a bankrupt and violent farmer who lives above the law in the Brazilian farmlands of Minas Gerais. One day, Matraga is ambushed by his adversaries and left for dead. However, he survives and recovers with the help of a religious outcast couple who take him to their small farm in the hinterland. Reborn, Matraga becomes a god-fearing man and seeks redemption through faith and arduous labor. Years later he arrives at a village controlled by the powerful landlord Joãozinho Bem-Bem and his posse. Their initial friendship leads to the final challenge of Matraga’s destiny. Inside of him, the newborn saint and the violent sinner must engage in a violent battle, the outcome of which will determine the fate of his soul. Matraga is based on a short story by Brazil's classic author Guimarães Rosa. The story was first adapted for the screen in 1966 by Roberto Santos and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. In contrast to the inner psychological portrait of this earlier version, the new Matraga impresses with its elegant photography and art direction using bronzed, leathery faces and whiskey-colored firelight to imbue a nostalgic, sepia-toned quality that romanticizes the violence.