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‘Vazante’ gets under your skin in a painfully beautiful way

Vazante is a 2017 period piece by Brazilian director Daniela Thomas. She is known for her work (Terra EstrangeiraParis, je t’aime and Linha de Passe) with internationally-acclaimed Brazilian director Walter Salles (Central do Brasil, The Motorcycle Diaries, On The Road).

Director of photography Inti Briones shows the epic beauty of the Brazilian countryside which sets the background for a life of brutality.

Vazante premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in 2017. It is distributed by Music Box Films.

Beating Life out of Dirt

António (Adriano Carvalho) is a poor farmer who inherited a piece of land in the mountains of Bahia, Brazil as part of his wife’s dowry.

It is bad farmland and António is a bad farmer, but he tries to beat something out of the mud through the backs of his slaves. In old Brazil, it was considered more efficient to work slaves to death, than to care for them.

When António’s wife dies in childbirth, he takes her little sister Beatriz (Luana Nastas), who is still a girl, as his wife.

António regularly pleasures himself with Feliciana (Jai Baptista). Her son Virgílio (Vinicius Dos Anjos) may in fact be his.

While António is away, Virgílio catches the eye of young Beatriz. Eventually Beatriz gets pregnant and the tension builds as we wonder what color the baby will be and how the master will respond.

What does it take for Americans to have a real conversation about racism?

Racism is pretty much universal. It chains us all to the ground of history until we accept our personal complicity and speak openly about it. Only then will we be free to harvest the fruits of a more equal society.

Americans of the United States don’t talk about it and so we remain mired in institutionalized versions of America’s original sin. South Americans are less shy about the subject.

It’s strange that Vazante would open the day after Fake President Trump’s latest racial slur, but art has an uncanny way of choosing the time and place of its birth.

Vazante in New York City

Vazante gets its New York premiere at IFC Center in Greenwich Village on Friday, January 12, 2018.

The opening night 7 pm screening includes a Q&A with the director hosted by the Brazilian Consulate and moderated by João MacDowell, Artistic Director of the International Brazilian Opera Company.

Director Daniela Thomas will also do a Q&A at the Saturday, January 13, 2:15 pm screening.

Vazante Tickets

Get tickets at www.ifccenter.com/films/vazante


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