Opening night at the 4th Brazilian Film Festival of London and queues are swelling in the foyer of the Odeon Panton Street for an evening of diverse, heady and powerful cinema.
Opening night at the 4th
Brazilian Film Festival of London and queues are swelling in the foyer of the
Odeon Panton Street for an evening of diverse, heady and powerful cinema.
With the FilmJuice
logo proudly tucked onto screens, posters and programmes, guests both Brazilian
and British indulged in comedy, drama and music with a punchy opening
programme. Jorane Castro’s short Urban
Jungle led the showcase, with a strong central performance as a mother
leads her pubescent daughter for a better and independent life. Sharp street
imagery, a wholesome score and a smudge of humour makes sure that this south
American industry has something to brag about from the off.
The feature length chaser to this is Ana Rieper’s I’ll Raffle Off My Heart. The documentary, a
sentimental look at the Brazilian music genre brega (translates as cheesy) came about after Rieper spent time with various families in Rio de Janeiro during
the war and found music to be a release for the new companions. “It was a human
state to express love and sexuality,” she explained in the Q&A that
followed. “The messages in the
music are regional but transcend on a universal scale also.”
Artists, lovers, prostitutes, wives, mistresses and hopeless
romantics, all fans of brega, are interviewed for the film, which was screened
at special outdoor events for Rieper’s participants. “A lot of the towns that
my subjects were from don’t have cinemas and I wanted to see what they had
The music, which deals with the subject of forbidden love,
cheating, and in one instance what can only be interpreted as filth (“I turn to
fruit in your mouth, it’s grape”) reflects the troubles and triumphs of the lives
of those involved, and causes ripples of gasps, “awwws” and much thigh slapping
from start to finish.
The second feature of the evening, Cecilia Amado’s Captains of
the Sand (Main Picture), was announced by the director as a tribute to her family and
friends, who are all her “Captains of the Sand.” The film follows a gang of
young house robbers who live by the sea and survive on shady dealings. After a
series of unfortunate events this scrappy group of boys are forced to grow up
quickly to survive the bleak realities of the gang world.
Well acted by the films mostly non professional cast, this
brother based tale highlights life in 1950s Salvador and some longstanding
trials and traditions that run through to contemporary Brazil.
Introducing Captains of the Sand, Bernardo Mello Baretto’s God Protects Drunks and Children is a
horribly precise depictions of a couple of street alcoholics. With a brilliant
lead, the subject’s hazy descent over the 10 minute film can easily translate
to the streets of any city but doesn’t lose its power despite being a global
Both screenings were packed out and with a host of reactions
to everything that came on screen, this proved a promising start to this years