Brazilian Doc ELENA to Open in U.S. Theaters

Variance Films and Syndicado have announced the U.S. theatrical premiere run of Elena (pictured), Brazilian director Petra Costa’s luminous and deeply emotional documentary journey in search of her long-lost sister. Executive produced by Academy Award nominees Tim Robbins and Fernando Meirelles (City of God), Costa’s feature debut is the recipient of several top international festival awards and ranks as one of the most successful documentaries of all time in Brazil.

Elena, hailed as a "haunting visual essay (that) interweaves its various fragments like gestures in a modern dance" (Ronnie Scheib, Variety) will open on Friday, May 30 at New York’s IFC Center before expanding to Los Angeles and additional cities in the US and Canada beginning June 13.

The film tells the story of Elena, a young Brazilian woman, moved to New York with the same dream her mother had: to become a film actress. She left behind a childhood spent in hiding during the years of the military dictatorship. She also left Petra, her beloved seven-year-old sister. Over time, Elena’s calls and letters home trailed off, until one day they stopped entirely.

Years later, Petra also becomes an actress and heads to New York in search of her destiny, but also in search of her troubled sister. She remembers and imagines Elena through home movies, letters, a diary, and dreamlike sequences full of longing. As she tries to unravel the mystery of her sister, their stories overlap and begin to blur, challenging us to discover truths about forgiveness, loss, catharsis, and love.

Watch the trailer: