Focus: Brazil at TIFF 2019
"Through a selection of urgently relevant films of recent years, TIFF wants to highlight features of Brazils political climate that reach far beyond the country's borders: Political Polarization, huge economic differences and distrust," says Deputy Program Director Henning Rosenlund.
-The program includes everything from drama of everyday life and bittersweet comedy, to political documentary, crime drama and biting (sic) satire.
Extreme polarization and a democracy in decay
Brazil has become an extremely polarized country and the left wing has experienced severe setbacks, not least through the impeachment and following resignation of former President Dilma Rousseff, the country's first elected female president. Political polarization goes hand in hand with a society ridden by enormous differences. In spite of rapidly growing economy, there are still many people living in poverty.
-There are many great films from Brazil from recent years addressing these issues. The Trial (O PROCESSO) (2018) by Maria Ramos, is a remarkable documentary film that follows the entire process of the judicial travesty Dilma Rouseff became a victim to, and about the decay of democracy and the public division it creates in the world's fifth biggest nation, says Deputy Program Director Henning Rosenlund.
-We are proud to confirm Ramos as a guest at the festival. She is one of Brazil's foremost documentary filmmakers and has made several strong, socially engaged films from her native country.
Other selected films in the programme:
THE CANNIBAL CLUB, director Ana Luiza Rios & Tavinho Teixeira, 2018. The banal wickedness of the ruling class is taken to the extreme in this film, and the story underlines the terrible consequences of Brazilian societal challenges caused by extreme polarization and economic differences. The film is a biting (sic) satire, a bloody dish accompanied with large doses of black humor. To eat or be eaten, that is the question.
AQUARIUS, director Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2017. An epic character portrait, carried by what many have considered to be a career-defining performance by legendary actress Sônia Braga. Through Clara's story, director Kleber Mendonça Filho examines issues of class and gentrification, and the struggle to preserve certain values against the race for economic and political profit.
THE SECOND MOTHER, director Anna Muylaert, 2014. One household mirrors a society facing challenging confrontations; between classes and between the past and the future. Told in a subtle, nuanced, humourous and astonishingly precise manner.
NEIGHBOURING SOUNDS, regi Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012. A compelling story about a society ridden by economic differences and the constant fear of violence and crime in modern-day Brazil.
CITY OF GOD, regi Lund & Mereilles, 2002. It is one of the most critically acclaimed films ever to come out of Brazil and made way for a whole genre of hard boiled Favela films.
BIRDWATCHERS, regi Marco Bechis, 2008. An important film that explores the idea of what would happen if native Brazilians chose to move back to their own land. It’s a powerful story that shows the grim reality of so many native people today. The film was in the programme at TIFF 2009, but in today’s political climate its topics are more relevant than ever.
The 29th edition of Tromsø International Film Festival will be held in January 14-20 2019.