PEN World Voices Festival presents
A film by Kleber Mendonça Filho
(Brazil/France, 2016, 142 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)
A special screening of the powerful 2016 Brazilian film about the struggles of an independent woman, will be followed by a brief discussion of the protests against repression the film has ignited in Brazil. With Lucrecia Zappi, Elissa Schappell, and D.W. Gibson. Moderated by Eric M. B. Becker, editor of Words without Borders and co-editor of Women Writing Brazil (Pen America).
In Aquarius, acclaimed Brazilian writer-director Kleber Mendonça Filho (Neighboring Sounds) continues to examine the alienating effects of urban over-development in Recife, a Brazilian oceanfront city. Clara (Sônia Braga, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands), a vibrant former music critic, avid swimmer, grandmother, cancer survivor, willing lover and widow with flowing tresses, is the only remaining apartment owner in a gracious older building targeted for demolition by ruthless luxury high-rise developers. As the builders tactics to remove Clara, become increasingly hostile, Clara proves to be a force to be reckoned with.
Mendonça Filho critiques life in contemporary Brazil, ranging from issues of social class, to the mistrust of government, to ageism, nepotism and corporate corruption, while looking fondly at the music, the places and the objects that we come to cherish in a very personal way. In Aquarius, this history encapsulated in a dwelling, that in and of itself, has been a silent witness to a woman’s entire life.