One of the best cultural programs in São Paulo starts this October, and takes place between October 20 and November 2: the International Film Festival, which features 223 hand-picked titles. Among them, the winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, “Triangle of Sadness” by Ruben Östlund, “The Super8 Years” of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature, Annie Ernaux, “Without Bears”, by the Iranian Jafar Panahi, who he once again dribbles the 20-year ban on filming, since his arrest in 2010. These are films awarded at the Cannes, San Sebastian, Berlin, Venice and Locarno festivals, which may or may not enter the circuit. Hence the urgency of entering the Exhibition website and booking tickets.
The Mostra exhibits 73 Brazilian titles and pays homage to Doris Monteiro in the restored 1953 film by Alex Viany, “Agulha no Palheiro”, from 1953. looking at the city of São Paulo in the background, indicating that cinema takes the imagination to a universe far superior to that of reality.
The Festival is a gift to the city of São Paulo, started almost without external resources 46 years ago by Leon Cakoff and maintained until this year by Leon’s wife, Renata de Almeida.
2022 managed to be a more difficult year than the previous one, without important sponsorships from Petrobras, the BNDS or the PROAC law and the currently non-existent Rouanet law. But it has SESC, SPCINE, ITAÚ and several partners to launch itself with unmissable options.
It brings some gems like “The Wife of Thaikovsky”, directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, a Putin disaffect, which portrays the musical genius as gay when homosexuality was disowned. The Netflix movie “Bardo”, directed by the Mexican González Inãrritu, “La Mamain et la Putain”, by Jean Eustache, and the new film by Marco Bellocchio.
In addition to the excellent “Armageddon Time” with Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway in the lead roles, Hopkins is the grandfather and critical conscience of Queens student Paul Graff (Banks Repeta). Paul relives the childhood of director James Gray himself, in America about to elect Ronald Reagan, in the Trump era, infested with racism and with echoes of prejudice against Latinos and Jews.
This year, the gift is packed for the eve of the second round of elections with 70% of women directors, and the exposure of prejudices, discussion of values, social inequality, violence, miseducation, religious fundamentalism, students alerting the world to the right to demanding their role in society, the occupation of the streets, the right to dream. As revealed in the documentary “Quem os Impede”, by the Spaniard Jonás Trueba, who filmed the desire and torments of teenagers from 2016 to 2021. Good for Brazilian voters to reflect on the future and their vote on the 30th. Especially because the title of the poster and vignette of the Exhibition is “Volte a Sonhar”.
Just take a look at some examples of movies to be shown:
THE VISITORdirected by Martin Buolocq, Bolivia/Uruguay,86 min
The phrase “stigma is stigma” permeates the film in the figure of Humberto, who returns to his city after a period in prison. Lived by the opera singer Enrique Araoz, Humberto earns a few pennies singing at funerals and wakes, “para los muertos” while, riding a motorcycle in his only possession, he tries to rescue his daughter from her grandparents’ house, where they took her after losing both mother and father, in this case by incarceration.
The story is a sad social portrait of Latin America punctuated by religious hysteria, where Carlos and Elisabethe, the pastors and grandparents of their daughter Aleida, are the only ones who benefit from tithes. They are white, live and live a full and very good life, while the faithful, of indigenous origin such as Humberto, his daughter Aleida and her mother Normita survive in poverty. Norma is a maid in the house of Humberto’s pastoral in-laws, and his wife, adopted by the couple, was of indigenous origin like Aleida.
In the unsuccessful search for custody of his daughter, Humberto is thrown into the evangelical theater of his father-in-law, who cries out for the devil and undresses his soul in front of an audience incensed by religious delirium. Humberto will never be able to rescue his daughter from the hands of the shepherds, he is in the place of a sinner.
To draw Aleida into his own life story, he shows her the diary of her mother, who probably killed herself, a woman revolted by the religious insanity of the parents who adopted her. “Dad and Mom mentioned the devil three times”, he wrote in the diary, highlighting the distrust and drama lived in the home of the pastor-parents. Aleida, when reading her mother’s memories, rebels.
Upon finding the diary in their granddaughter’s hands, the pastors in-laws find yet another reason to increase Humberto’s stigma of being a transgressor, and further distance him from their daughter.
The atmosphere perceived by Aleida is one of judgment and hypocrisy, dogmas used as a weapon of power over the population and contested by a friend, an unbeliever like Humberto, “the Bible entered the palace, the man who wrote the Bible”.
The paternal grandmother, Normita, tells her son about the revolutions that her family has lived through in Bolivia, how much oppression Humberto unleashes in lyrical singing and the rest, helpless by the State,
WIND REMAININGdirected by Tiago Guedes, Portugal,126 min
A perverse ritual that terrifies girls cornered by hooded boys is repeated every time the desert wind rises, a tradition in a tiny village in the interior of Portugal. The girls thus expiate their “guilts”, are beaten with a whip while the boys, beating, become “men”, those who grew up sexist and misogynist. Unbelievable to imagine that only 25 years ago, 1997, this happened in Portugal and can be repeated today.
But not always what grandmothers and mothers accepted will be swallowed up today by granddaughters and daughters, wearing jeans, mini-skirts and cell phones in hand. What if one of the boys penalized himself, or fell in love with the girl chosen to be beaten, and refused to perform the ritual? That’s what happens in the film with Laureano. The teenager who refuses to take part in the “masculine” ritual is beaten until he collapses, covered in scars and humiliation.
The circle turns, the teenagers grow up, they place themselves in the traditional frames of society: the priest, the policeman, the bar owner, the businessman, almost all of them married to the same girls they flogged. But Laureano doesn’t fit in, he’s the village pariah, talking better to the dogs than to his former colleagues.
What the 2+ hour movie reveals is that the prank is not so innocent and carries desires for revenge and punishment. Which can take 25 years. And like the winds that come and go, one day what was just a rite to end in a party culminates in a crime, and a secret. Who would be the real culprit of the murder, since they are all complicit in this violent tradition? Nothing in a village like this is left without change and one generation takes revenge on another, as in “Abril Despedaçado”, the magnificent book by the Albanian Ismail Kadaré, re-filmed in the Brazilian hinterland by Walter Salles Jr. And more blood waters this story.
The film has a great cast, but it is quite long and proves that for the Portuguese spoken on the other side, even with all the Brazilian emigration, it still needs subtitles on the other side.
STATION FOURTEENdirected by Diana Cardoso, Mexico, 87 min.
Through the eyes of a seven-year-old boy, life is violently introjected by murder without justice for the culprits, as in the slums or poor communities of Latin America, in this case, Mexico. The most intriguing thing for Luís, the protagonist, is discovering that neighbors loot the victims’ house instead of helping to put out the fire, and one of those neighbors is his father, Manuel.
The film rolls through the eyes of the child who discovers the foolishness of life in his own father, who lies, exercises a toxic machismo and is able to take revenge on his own weaknesses in his wife, the weakest or the defenseless like Luís’ dog.
Nothing is strange to us in Latin America, not even the hard life of the woman taking care of the small children, the house, the food, the mother, the grandmother, women as the mainstay of the family, which has in Manuel a man who does not know how to be a husband or a father. .
Poverty is the backdrop at the Station where the train is the only external stimulus that runs along the tracks. And the public school teacher, the light that can open the small world of children, whose only distraction is the ball, the stray animals, the dangerous train track.
It is the film by a female director, Diana Cardozo, who leaves the mark of her feminine and maternal sensibility.
Norma Couri is a journalist and Director of Social Inclusion, Women and Diversity at the Brazilian Press Association (ABI).