Having just left his wife, geologist José Renato is sent to conduct field research that will take him across the whole wilderness of the Northeast region of Brazil. The aim is to evaluate the potential route of a canal that will be built from the region’s only fast-flowing river. For many of the area’s inhabitants, the canal will signal hope and the possibility of a new future for them. But for those who live near the new canal, it means expropriation, departure, loss. Many places that José Renato travels through will be submerged; many families he meets will be relocated. The geologist starts to identify with the emptiness and isolation of these places. —mostra.org
Karim Aïnouz was born in 1966 in Fortaleza, Brazil. After studying Architecture at the University of Brasilia and Film Studies at New York University, Karim Aïnouz participated in the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1993. From 1989 to 1992, he worked on various feature film projects as assistant to the director Todd Haynes, and from 1992 to 1996 he was an assistant editor in the production of more than 20 feature films. He is co-author of the film “Behind the Sun” (2001) by Walter Salles. In 1992, Aïnouz began to devote himself to his own film projects. He has received numerous promotional awards and fellowships, including from the highly-regarded Hubert Bals Fonds (Netherlands), the New York Foundation for the Arts (USA) and the Fundação Itaú Cultural (Brazil). His documentary film “Seams” (1993) received the Vito Russo Award of the New Festival in New York, his short film “Paixão Nacional” (1994) was shown at festivals including Oberhausen, Rotterdam… read more
Interesting mix of super 8 and digital filmmaking that brings to mind Kiarostami as a geologist takes a trip through the Brazilian northeast following the path of a canal to come. His voiceover talks to a woman who has recently passed on or left him as he muses on geology, life , women and prostitution. Version here on Mubi is not properly subtitlted and one's language skills are definately tested.
I wish I had read the comments regarding the English subtitles as they were the worst I've ever encountered. The film's only spoken words come from an unseen narrator and at least one third of that is completely unsubtitled. The remainder is mostly nonsensical, incomplete sentences. I put up with it until the end because I'd paid my three bucks, I could sort of follow along and the visuals were extraordinary.
"From Vidas Secas to Central Station, Brazil's northeast has long held a cinematic place as a sweltering netherworld of struggle, madness