Kinematografie: Brasilien entflammt


João Moreira Salles
Brasilien 2007
80 min

30 Jahre lang arbeitete der Butler Santiago in einem Anwesen in Rio de Janeiros wohlhabendem Stadtteil Gávea für die einflussreiche Familie des Regisseurs João Moreira Salles. 1992 beschließt dieser, einen Dokumentarfilm über den Mann zu drehen, der während seiner Kindheit immer präsent war. Er sucht den gebildeten 80-Jährigen in seiner kleinen Wohnung auf, interviewt ihn mehrere Tage, stellt das Porträt jedoch nicht fertig. Als er das Material 15 Jahre später erneut sichtet, realisiert er, weshalb er damals gescheitert ist. Ein selbstreflexiver Dokumentarfilm über die Machtverhältnisse des Lebens und des dokumentarischen Arbeitens. (Martin Schlesinger)


João Moreira Salles, brother of well-known director Walter Salles and son of a diplomatist and minister, chooses to take up an old project – a cinematic portrait of his butler, a man from the Argentinean countryside who lived for decades with the director’s aristocratic family in a mansion in Rio de Janeiro. This lonely man – slightly effeminate and owner of a portentous memory – was not only fluent in six diferent languages and loved Giotto’s paintings and Wagner’s music, but also devoted his life to writing a 30,000 page universal history of the world’s aristocracy; this bizarre hobby for a servant stands in perfect dialectic opposition to Salles’ attempt to film them. While Santiago’s interventions are of an existential and encyclopedic nature, Salles’ of-screen participations are poetical and philosophical. Santiago is a cinematic wonder, an irreplaceable masterclass in cinema. When the director states (or rather confesses) why he never uses close-ups of his protagonist’s face, the precise meaning of this staging is revealed. Deleuze used to say shots represent the consciousness of a director and no other film I know embodies that abstract, yet palpable statement better than Santiago, which is moving in its warning about how difcult it is to imagine the lives of others. (Roger Koza)

  • Santiago Badariotti Merlo
  • João Moreira Salles
  • Walter Cavalho
  • Jorge Saldanha
  • Eduardo Escorel
  • Lívia Serpa
Videoflmes Produçoes Artísticas
Videoflmes Produçoes Artísticas
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