Make Your Own Film Festival- Pick A Country (3 of 7)

Zuzu Angel

Windows doesn’t discriminate between regions any longer, and neither does Macintosh. Even if they do you should get a warning when inserting a Non-Region 1 DVD (meaning one made for distribution outside the US, Canada and Mexico) saying what region it is and asking if you want to change your computer’s region. Typically, there has been a set limit on how many times you could change regions before it became a permanent switch. Even if your computer is more finicky you still have an opportunity to watch many more DVDs, many of which you can only find online, that you never thought you could before.

Some foreign films have limited appeal and distribution internationally. With that in mind you should take that into account when traveling overseas and pick up some movies you won’t find in the US. Taking that in to consideration this critic made a number of purchases when in Brazil in 2008 to set up a mini-festival.

Patricia Pilar and Daniel de Oliveira in Zuzu Angel (Warner Bros.)

Another interesting piece of history examined through the lens of fiction – the historical drama. The reason this form is likely so dominant in Brazilian art is because a documentary though more true to fact will be harder to piece together after the fact. The other key factor is the audience for fiction will always be bigger, like it or not.
So much of the material that is relevant is dramatized history that is being re-earthed for dramatic purposes and to avoid history repeating itself. It is interesting in that it tells the tale of Brazilian woman who meets an American, marries, becomes a famous fashion designer and her son becomes a radical opposed to the military regime. In trying to unravel the mystery surrounding his disappearance she becomes a radical herself.

It starts out on a very high note in medias res emotionally speaking and gives us a slightly telenovela moment (this kind of moment in Brazilian terms is much more naturalistic than its Mexican cousin). Patricia Pillar is spectacular in this role not only working bilingually but in terms of her arc and range she goes from uncaring and aloof to angry, embittered, passionate, sad and plays the lady when she has to.

Like many of the new era of Brazilian films it refuses to go in chronological order and yet becomes more engaging because of it and tells cumbersome tales that encompass years deftly. This proclivity for temporal distortion could be one of the reason many in Brazil do not like domestic films because they are not the simplistic Hollywood product they are used to seeing. The stories aren’t easy and to tell them in perfect order would be rote and trite and in these films would be all history lesson and no story, no emotional involvement whatsoever. This was without a doubt one of the most powerful entries in this festival.