Directed and written by Kieber Mendonca Filho
24th – 30th March 2017
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
What bewildered me about this film is why a 65-year-old woman, living alone in her life-long home, a cosy apartment in a low-rise block on the edge of an upmarket beach in Recife, a coastal city in Brazil, would want to remain there despite the incessant loud din of revellers and constant traffic outside her window long into the night.
Despite being the only remaining occupant in the block – all the other tenants have sold off their property to a prosperous construction company – Clara (Sonia Braga), a widow and retired music teacher, is determined to remain where she is.
Not only are the property developers determined to see her depart, in order that they can build a fashionable high-rise, but her offspring also want her to leave in order to get a possible windfall from the sale.
The film clocks in at 143 minutes, which includes minor details of the story, together with an often joyous soundtrack of music from her large vinyl album collection, dating back 50 years or so.
The prologue to the story is especially effective. Clara, aged twenty something, attends a 70th birthday party for her aunt Lucia (Thaia Perez) and during the warm-hearted accolades to her, delivered by various members of her family, you visualise flashbacks of her time as a young woman indulging in sexual relations with her partner at that time.
You see people in their 60s and 70s and often don’t realise that they were at one time enjoying conjoining flesh with others on a regular basis.
It’s a slow-burn movie, which helps enhance and celebrate memory and the treasured times once lived.