The Brazilian film The Dead and the Others / Chuva e cantoria na aldeia dos mortos by Sao Paulo-born Renée Nader Messora and Portuguese João Salaviza was awarded the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard competition at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
Based on the filmmakers’ experience living for nearly a year in Pedra Branca, a village of the Krahô people in North Brazil, the fiction feature follows Ihjãc, a 15-year-old Krahô kid called by his dead father’s voice to celebrate the funerary feast which will allow his father’s spirit to depart to the village of the dead. Denying his duty and in order to escape a crucial process of becoming a shaman, Ihjãc runs away to the city. Far from his people and culture, he faces the reality of being an indigenous in contemporary Brazil.
Salaviza was the winner of the 2009 Palme d’Or for his short Arena, while this marks the directorial debut of Messora. This year's Un Certain Regard jury was headed by Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro.
The 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival took place May 8-19 in the French Riviera.