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Gentrification in Brazil’s coastal oasis of Recife becomes the catalyst for a journey of rediscovery in the award-winning film starring Sonia Braga.
A sensuous memory piece about the meanings we invest in places, objects and music, and a lovingly tailored vehicle for the ever-luminous Sonia Braga.
Retired music critic Clara (the magnificent Sonia Braga) is the only remaining resident of the Aquarius, one of the last 1940s-built apartment buildings in a rapidly changing neighbourhood in the exclusive seaside district of Recife. Despite the other apartments having been sold to a company with ambitious plans for redevelopment, the independent-minded Clara holds out, adamant that she will not be bullied into selling the beachside home that has been a silent witness to her long and deeply lived life.
Acclaimed Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho’s follow up to Neighbouring Sounds (2012) – which likewise set a personal drama against a backdrop of urban living spaces in flux – screened in Official Competition at the 2016 Sydney Film Festival, taking out the festival’s top prize that year. Brazil’s contemporary class and economic tensions – and the increasingly urgent issue of the nature of gentrification in densely populated cities the world over – serve as a context for a personal reckoning for the character of Clara. Adamant she will not cave in to pressure tactics, Clara mines untapped reserves of strength that put her on a collision course with the developers, but which also reanimate a powerful connection to her past and identity.
– Roberta Ciabarra; Curator, Film
Days of Summer program (Sat 17 Dec 2022 – Tue 14 Feb 2023)
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