Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5
Original title: Abril Despedacado
Brazil/France/Switzerland, 2001. Bac Films, Dan Valley Film AG, Haut et Court, VideoFilmes. Screenplay by Karim Ainouz, Sergio Machado, Walter Salles, additional dialogue by Joao Moreira Salles, Daniela Thomas, based on the novel by Ismail Kadare. Cinematography by Walter Carvalho. Produced by Arthur Cohn. Music by Ed Cortes, Antonio Pinto, Beto Villares. Production Design by Cassio Amarante. Costume Design by Cao Albuquerque. Film Editing by Isabelle Rathery.
Walter Salles’ follow-up to his breathtaking Central Station is this uneven drama, photographed gorgeously by Walter Carvalho. The story takes place in 1910 Brazil where a feud between bickering landowners threatens to wipe out two entire families.
A poor farming family’s son has been killed (for having killed the other family’s son) and his brother is sent to avenge him. He does so, but afterwards is targeted by his victim’s clan for vengeance. However, this eye-for-an-eye life makes the young man wonder if maybe things shouldn’t be different, and his little nameless brother also feels the same way.
A romance with a circus girl adds colour to otherwise plodding film that deserves to be so much better, but oddly enough is completely unaffecting.
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film
Venice Film Festival: In Competition