Written by Filipa Henriques.
The number of crazy almost sci-fi articles that I find on my feed about the daily life in Brazil since Bolsonaro was elected is numberless. Not only are these news about Amazonia, global warming and violation of human rights, they are also about cultural policies and the fall of the country's cultural industry.
Brazil's independent cinema had a fast growth in the last decade and despite these new internal difficulties it still has a huge international attention. The greatest power of these new Brazilian directors is the ability of reporting these brutal realities - the favelas, the social and economic differences, the fragmented families, the drug abuse - giving us the feeling that these groups - poor, malnourished, revolted - take care of each other.
This is a reality we can watch closely in Bacurau - the newest film directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho with Juliano Dornelles - a brutal, romantic, vivid film, following the greatness of his previous Aquarius.
The film starts with a woman coming back to her hometown - a small village in the interior of Brazil called Bacurau. Despite the problems they are having with the water supply, strange things start to happen.
Bacurau is a very serious film about what’s happening to Brazil: way before watching the film a friend told me that Bacurau made him remember The Hunger Games and isn’t it a men’s hunting what we are watching happening on the other side of the Atlantic?
With a comic, funny, sometimes queer view, Bacurau makes us think about what’s going to be of these small villages, the education and health system, the basic needs we take for granted living in an European democratic country.
Brazil needs our attention. 2019 was also the year the country lost João Gilberto. In his words, “mas se ela voltar, que coisa linda…”, was perhaps an ode to information and the end of fake news.
Filipa Henriques works at Portugal Film - Portuguese Film Agency, an institution for the advancement and widespread reach of Portuguese independent cinema. Her studies started in the North of Portugal at Universidade do Minho and continued onto a semester in France's Paris Descartes and a masters' degree in Lisbon's Nova FCSH. After interning at the world renowned film festival IndieLisboa and the documentary film oriented Apordoc - Associação pelo Documentário, she started work at Portugal Film three years ago. She is now completing her studies with a second masters' degree at ISCTE on the Arts' Markets and recently started to collaborate with the IndieMusic selection committee at IndieLisboa.