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Aquarius

 

(Aquarius) Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho, BR, 2016, Portuguese / Czech and English subtitles, 142 min

When Kleber Mendonça Filho introduced his debut Neighboring Sounds three years ago, he caused an unprecedented stir in the film world and reminded everyone that the Brazilian film is alive and pulsing with the rhythm of contemporary cinema. His second film, Aquarius, has become an anticipated event of the world cinematography and its presence in the main competition in Cannes only confirms the director's position. The film tells the story of a dogged sixty-year-old Clara that, as the last tenant, lives in a traditional two-storey apartment near the beach in Recife. One day she visited by project architects of a construction company that are interested in the house and the land. Clara, however, does not intend to abandon her home and the filmmakers gradually set into motion an unequal contest between the obstinate owner and the construction juggernaut. The film is not a stereotypical celebration of civic activism, but rather a psychological drama where things, memories and places have become part of our identity. While in the background our identity breakdown collapses also the traditional identity of the city that becomes predatory sea of skyscrapers, which is not for the old.


 

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