Loosely inspired in the book Catatau, by Paulo Leminski, the film starts from the historical hypothesis imagined by the Brazilian poet: ‘What if René Descartes had come to Brazil along with Maurice of Nassau?’. The movie fulfills this idea and follows the father of modern philosophy on a tropical journey, in a daze of hallucinogenic herbs, investigating matters of geometry and optics in a world so utterly strange to him. Philosopher of the quote “I think, therefore I am”, Descartes confronts his doubts as he faces phenomena that lie beyond the reach of sound reason. René, Renatus, Re-natum. –São Paulo International Film Festival
Cao Guimarães, filmmaker and visual artist, was born in 1965 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where he lives and works.
Since the end of the 1980s he has been showing his work at various museums and galleries such as Tate Modern, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art NY, Gasworks, Frankfurten Kunstverein, Studio Guenzano, Galeria La Caja Negra and Galeria Nara Roesler. He was part of art biennieals such as the XXV and XXVII São Paulo International Art Biennial, Insite Biennial 2005 (San Diego/ Tijuana). Some of his art pieces are part of public collections such as Fondation Cartier Pour L’art Contemporain, Tate Modern, Walker Art Center, Guggehein Museum, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, MoMA, Instituto Cultural Inhotim, among others.
His films have participated in various film festivals: Locarno International Film Festival (2004, 2006 and 2008), Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia (2007), Sundance Film Festival (2007), Cannes Film Festival (2005), Rotterdam… read more
While not quite the brick in the face that Andarilho was, this film is, for the most part, a successful "translation" of philosophy and poetry on screen, something that is rarely achieved. Guimarães handle over imagery is assured, and yet again he gives a work that lies somewhere in between fiction and documentary, the film defies categorization or comparison.