The Dead and the Others
One of the great triumphs of the winner of the Jury Special Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the last Cannes Festival was the way it avoided the touristic voyeurism or colorful exoticism to which a film like The Dead and the Others might easily succumb. The directorial duo follow Ihjac, a 15 year old indigenous boy, and his family, who live in a community in Pedra Branca in northern Brazil, as he goes about his mission: he must organize a funeral for his recently deceased father. As it observes the characters, their relationships, traditions and conflicts, the film immerses the spectator in the family’s everyday joys and troubles. Renée Nader Messora and João Salaviza effortlessly manage to capture a territory where traditions, magic and Western modernity combine to produce a strange and possibly new example of a coming of age story.
Soft Rains Will Come
“Aren’t you afraid that your parents won’t wake up?” one of the protagonists asks another. This isn’t an existential fear, or a childish nightmare: in this film, adults really are going to sleep and not waking up. And rather than being perturbed, the youthful gang at the center of the story sees this strange situation as an excellent opportunity for adventure. Structured in chapters like a children’s book, There Will Come Soft Rains is inspired by a lovely poem of the same name by the American poet Sara Teasdale –written exactly a hundred years ago– which describes a post-apocalyptic world in just a few lines. Employing ingenious, skillful and powerfully practical visual imagery, Iván Fund has produced an inspired local addition to a particular genre –the one of The Goonies and Super 8, even using the same iconography– that we love so much and for some reason Argentinian cinema had trouble dealing with. Not any more.