Posts Tagged ‘Brazilian arthouse’

Brazil Indigenous Film Festival 22 – 24 October 2021

Inspired by the UN Climate Summit this first edition of the Brazil Indigenous Film Festival takes place in London’s ICA cinema on the Mall from October 22 -24, featuring a dozen or so features and shorts from indigenous filmmakers sharing their stories – both fact and fiction – from all over Brazil.

Twelve films, in six languages, from seven different groups will be showing in the three-day festivalbetween 22 – 24 October 2021. The programme is split into three strands: The Right toEarth combines work on different forms of Indigenous struggle – symbolic, practical, political, mythological – for the right to land; The Ritual Dimension documents and celebrates the Maxakali andKisedjê in rural Brazil, exploring their political rituals, and Orality, Film and History brings historical, social and philosophical perspectives from the Parakanã, Guarani–Nhandewa and Guarani–Kaiowácommunities.

A few highlights from the programme: Equilibrium, an ethno-media video art by Tupinamba journalist and educator Olinda Muniz Wenderley. The female filmmaker explores through an experimental narrative the connection of the Indigenous People with the Earth and their spirituality. Two animations explore colours of nature and traditions. The Celebration of the Spirits tells the saga of a Guajajara man, who, during a search for his lost brother, ends up on a voyage of self-discovery.

Other films to look out for are Tatakox, a hypnotic ritual film that documents celebrations evoking the spirits of dead children, and Nũhũ yãg yõg hãm: This land is our land!, winner of the Best International Film prize at this year’s SheffieldDoc/Fest.

The festival also presents two productions from Alberto Alvares: Dream of Fire, an interpretation of a dream – an omen of disease, according to Guarani Nhandewa traditions, and Tekowenhepyrun: The Origin of the Soul, is based on the belief that the soul is the connection between the body and the spirit. Alberto has had works exhibited in Arts Biennales and international film festivals.

FreeLandCamp a documentary by photographer and anthropologist Edgar Kanaykõ, portraying the massive 2017 demonstration organised by APIB, when diverse ethnic groups got together in the country’s capital, Brasília to demand their rights. Ava Yvy Vera: The Land of the People of Lightning, is a depiction of the Guarani–Kaiowá peoples’ struggle for land rights that gained international recognition after the release of a joint letter in 2012, protesting against the assaults and advances of Brazilian agribusiness.

The thought-provoking Zawxiperkwer Kaa explores the activities of the Guardians of the Forest, a group that has been fighting against illegal logging and working to protect the Awá-Guajá, one of the most threatened isolated Indigenous groups on the eastern coast of the Amazon.

This festival has the support of APIB, a national reference of the Indigenous movement in Brazil. Raising international awareness about Indigenous peoples as protagonists in the fight against climatechange and resisting the destruction of their traditional ways of living is urgently needed.

Festival Schedule:

Friday, 22 Oct @18h30 (Opening Night followed by a Q&A with festival curators and special guests)

Saturday, 23 Oct @16:20

Sunday, 24 Oct @16:20

Full programme can be seen here.

The Nightshifter (2018) **** LFF 2018

Writer/Dir: Dennison Ramalho | Cast: Daniel de Oliveira, Claudia Jouvin, Fabiula Nascimento, Bianca Comparato | Horror | Brazil | 110′

Communing with the dead its nothing new. For thousands of years people have been contacting their loved ones in the afterlife for guidance and reassurance, but in this evocative and darkly inventive Brazilian chiller a morgue worker takes a step too far.

Stênio (Daniel de Oliveira) works on the night shift in the central morgue of Brazil’s violent southern capital, Porto Alegre. Street brawls, venal crime and knifings provide him with a blood-soaked work load. And once the Stryker saw has done its postmortem job, Stênio makes small talk with the cadavers, relaying  their final thoughts or family messages before they go six feet under. But one dead body shares an idle rumour that Stênio’s wife is cheating on him. Riddled with suspicion, he take matters into his own hands, so breaking the strict code of the dead and bringing a tragic curse on his entire family.

Stênio, a generous-hearted father of two, works hard to make ends meet so why has his wife, feistily played by Fabiula Nascimento, turned against him? Odete seemed happy enough making cakes for her friend’s business but now she claims his whiff of ‘eau de corpse’ has put her off his advances. But she showers her affections on her lover who rewards her with new clothes. Perhaps poor Stênio needs to spend less time talking to bodies and more time pleasing his family.

Andre Faccioli’s garish visuals establish the neon-lit gang-ridden streets of Porto Alegre where sirens screech and brutal death is a nightly occurrence. Stênio is driven mad as the corpses pile up in this tricksy narrative that twists and turns like a murderer’s dagger. Macabre overhead shots see him sweeping up the bloody waste, as the gurneys overflow with gore and slaughtered bodies. Meanwhile, his homelife is just as messy; son Edson is going off the rails and daughter Ciça is frightened. The claustrophobic morgue closes in him; mangled corpses burst out of their ‘fridges. At night his cramped flat feels like a coffin, and the tension is palpable in this sordid metaphor for Brazil’s modern malaise.

In his directing debut Dennison Ramalho doesn’t rein back from the grimness of it all: Quite the reverse, there’s a subversive humour to The Nightshifter – be it ever so dark. This noirish fantasy horror lingers perpetually in the penumbral hours, relishing and regaling in the seemier side of an existence where life and death become one big twilight zone where the dead seem to hold sway over the living. MT


The Cannibal Club (2018)

Dir/Writer: Guto Parente |Ana Luiza Rios, Tavinho Teixeira | Thriller | Brazil | 75′

Satire is a dish best served with a slice of human flesh in this brilliantly dark, baroquely stylish Brazilian thriller from award-winning filmmaker Guto Parente, who co-directed My Own Private Hell. 

Ana Luiza Rios and Tavinho Teixeira play a wealthy couple in Forteleza who get more than they bargained for due to their carnivorous conniving. In this poor and crime-ridden corner of Brazil, the idle rich live a glorious lifestyle: the sun shines, their private villas are post-modernist and beach-fronted, and there’s more than enough obliging staff to cater to their fantasies, which invariably involve a ménage à trois with a good-looking servant who is then served up for dinner with a glass – or two – of Brazilian Syrah.

Gilda and Otavio are still desirable, along with their coterie of moneyed friends who include bisexual captain of industry Borges (Pedro Domingues). Octavio runs a successful company and belongs to a male only club who regularly meet over dinner to pontificate about the ills of modern life, followed by post prandial porn of the live and sensually Grand Guignol type.

Teixeira’s Octavio is particularly unappealing, an arrogant creep who finally gets his just deserts in the florid finale. Parente’s confidently vulgar narrative is so shamelessly bold it verges on the ridiculous. But The Cannibal Club makes for compulsive viewing punctuated by Fernando Catatau’s tango-style score and the lush backdrop of Fortaleza  Social connections are paramount, desires of the flesh are an hourly preoccupation. Orifices and appetites are voracious and must be filled and satisfied in an elegantly brutal way. And the razor sharp editing of some scenes is particularly masterful thanks to Luiz and Ricardo Pretti who contribute to this success of this slick, succinct and satisfying psychodrama. MT



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