Award-winning Brazilian film takes a witty approach to the history of the tomato and its ‘role’ in contemporary Latin America. The “Island of Flowers” is one of Porto Alegre’s rubbish dumps. Pig owners who live near the dumps use the piles of rubbish as a feeding place for their animals. It’s also used by the local people to search for possible resaleable items. —BFI
Based in Porto Alegre, filmmaker Jorge Furtado (b.1959) is a beloved figure in Brazil. His work displays amazing range, from coming-of-age stories to animated critiques of capitalism to playful historical recreation to bitter tales of racism in Brazil to shaggy dog stories to neo-noir. Even within a film, Furtado is able to cover a lot of ground, jumbling genres as joyfully as he mixes together characters from all parts of Porto Alegre’s eclectic citizenry. What ties it all together is Furtado’s unceasing interest in playing with the cinematic construction of time and narrative. He is a master at setting up expectations and then upending those expectations, or bypassing them entirely, in ways that are both witty and illuminating. One of his favored methods is the collage, betraying a syncretic impulse that ties him to other Brazilian exponents of the modern and the postmodern, from Carlos Drummond de Andrade to Tom Zé.
A first glance at Furtado’s work can miss the subtle ways… read more