Laura and Israel are a middle class couple. They have a son, Lucas, a nice house, Sunday lunches and good breakfasts. But Israel and Laura are drifting apart and so is their life together. Laura’s sudden disappearance takes the film into unexpected territory, far from the comfort of Laura’s and Israel’s pleasant home.
From this seemingly simple set-up, DESTERRO forges a complex exploration of intimacy and its permeability to social conventions. Instead of leading us into the inner life of the couple, director Maria Clara Escobar ties their drama to Brazils political crises. From a bureaucracy designed to exclude the weakest fringes of the population, to the white male’s ever-present oppression of the female body, the film suggests what consequences a politics based on injustice and exploitation can have on private lives.
But beyond that, DESTERRO’s uniqueness lies in its affirmation of the value of resistance. Even if the characters are clearly doomed, they are resilient and Maria Clara Escobar captures this strength with respect and empathy. Thanks also to its impeccable formal composition, this film reaffirms the importance of cinema as a space of political awareness. (Rebecca Depas)
Maria Clara Escobar: DOMINGO (2004, K, Ko- Regie), PASSEIO DE FAMÍLIA (2010, K), THE DAYS WITH HIM (2011)
- Carla Kinzo - Laura
- Otto Jr. - Israël
- Rômulo Braga
- David Lobo
- Bruno Risas
- Tales Manfrinato
- Patrícia Saramago
- Juliana Lobo