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999 Ratings


Brazil, France, 2016


Concerns the 65-year-old Clara, a retired music writer and critic, widowed and alone in the apartment building Aquarius after her three grown children have moved away. Oh, and she’s mastered the gift of time travel.

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Aquarius Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho
Sometimes shot in unobtrusively realist fashion, especially in the conversations, the film nevertheless opens up stylistically from time to time, making full useof the widescreen format – for example when the camera moves from events outdoors to pull back, passing over Clara dozing in her hammock, and pan across her flat, showing the interior’s porousness to light and sound from the outside world.
March 03, 2017
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Within this simple scenario, Mendonça and the titanic Sonia Braga gradually sculpt an image of an entire life, inside and out, and while speaking specifically to contemporary Brazilian politics they also happen to touch upon nearly every issue that became a talking point of the 2016 U.S. election—entrenched racial and class divides, gender inequality, corporate greed. Aquarius is gripping exhilarating, and exquisitely rendered, and its message was loud and clear even before it resonated anew.
January 03, 2017
A film about the most vital weapon in a radical’s arsenal: historical memory. It is precisely Mendonça’s ability to articulate the Then with the Now that rapacious neoconservatism demands. So whatever you do, don’t claim continuity, don’t observe an ongoing cycle of oppression. This is a film about the struggle over an edifice of the past. Preserve it, or knock it down?
January 02, 2017
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