Born to a family of migrant farm workers, the three
sisters spent their childhood bouncing from city to city in the Northeast
of Brazil., following the steps of their alcoholic father in search
of temporary work. In order to supplement their meager earnings, their
mother dedicated herself to making arts and crafts, while the sisters
learned to sing for change in street markets and on church steps.
After the death of their father, singing became the main source of
income for the large family, which seemed to never stop growing. At
one time, the sisters were supporting 14 people, among them brothers
and sisters, one of whom was adopted, as well as nieces, nephews, their
mother and her new husband.
Maria Barbosa, the most independent and self-sufficient of the three,
is the only one to have been married. In fact, she has been married
twice, both to visually impaired husbands and twice widowed. Her first
husband, Manuel Traquiline, a guitar player and singer, met her when
she was singing in a street fair. Together they had a daughter, Maria
Dalva, who was born in 1989. After her birth, Maria moved with husband
to the city of Natal, in the North of the country. This was the only
time that the sisters were seperated. At the time their her daughter
turned five years old, Manuel died and Maria returned to live again
with her sisters in Campina Grande. There she met the love of her life,
Silvestre, with whom she was with for two years before he was violently
stabbed to death.
When the crew from TV ZERO first met the three blind sisters 1997,
they were practically alone, living in small house in the Northeastern
Brazilian city of Campina Grande. Their mother had passed away some
six months earlier and Silvestre had been dead for almost four years.
Maria’s daughter was in the custody of distant aunts who refused
to give her back to her mother.
What occurred in their lives is the subject of this film.