Praia Formosa (2024) IFFR 2024

January 26th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Julia De Simone | Cast: Lucília Raimundo, Samira Carvalho, Maria D”Aires, Mãe Celina de Xangô Brazil, Drama 94’

This beguiling third feature from Brazilian filmmaker Julia De Simone is set in the cultural melting pot of Formosa an industrial port, just east of the capital Brasília.

Ten years in the making the film premieres at this year’s ROTTERDAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL and centres on De Simone’s intriguing research project that shifts gently away from documentary form in the opening scenes to explore a fictional story of decolonisation and female empowerment.

Muanza is a woman born in the Kingdom of Congo in the early nineteenth century and trafficked to Brazil. One day she wakes up to find herself in the modern day port region of Rio, known as ‘Pequena Africa’, or Little Africa.

Praia is the second part of a trilogy that started with the 2014 short film O Porto and culminates with Rapacity, Praia Formosa.

This is a sinuous slow burn study with a sepia and pastel-tinted aesthetic that perfectly compliments its ethnic subject matter reflecting on a colonial past and intertwining it with the present with thoughtful and graceful performances from the leads.


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