The É Tudo Verdade Festival reaches its 26th edition, scheduled from April 8 to 18, and launches the scent of resilience against coups d’état, oppression regimes, gender violence and, above all, the covid-19, betting on a series of films rhythmic by the sad beat of the pandemic, in a selection of 69 productions from 23 countries. Isadora’s Karaoke, by Thiago B. Mendonça, is one of the titles with quarantine records, as well as (the expected) Sob Total Controle (Totally Under Control), de Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan e Suzanne Hillinger, e Paradise, by Sérgio Tréfaut.
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But the coronavirus agonies are only part of the repertoire of urgent matters reflected by the curatorship, organized under the baton of Amir Labaki to take place online, with the same efficiency experienced in 2020. “We all miss the face-to-face festival, but an important lesson from digital is to preserve this hybrid character of maintaining what happens in rooms also in the online environment “, he said, at a news conference via Zoom. “As it is very agile, the documentary responded formally to what is happening around us. What we tried to do was to bring to the selection those who treated the pandemic, formally, with freshness, in their record.”
From Brazil, there is the long-awaited Dawn, which marks the return of Anna Muylaert (filmmaker of What Time Does She Come Back?) to the scene of the big festivals, after a hiatus of five years. She returns in partnership with Lo Politi (from Jonas) recalling Dilma Rousseff’s daily life on the fringes of impeachment. Still unpublished by Eryk Rocha, Vincent Carelli, Ricardo Calil and Joel Pizzini in the selection of national features and shorts, revealing the Brazilian power in this era of closed exhibition halls.
“The aesthetic influence of streaming in the way of framing and in the narrative models of the documentary is still none. What already existed, even in the pre-pandemic, was a predilection for serial narratives and, especially, based on two subgenres: reports on crimes and the look at celebrities, from the royal family to Anitta. What I hope, with a concrete impact, is that the platforms will become real partners in the production of documentaries “, evaluates Labaki. “Today, we are going through a process of buying independent documentaries, in which the examples of authorial films are not uncommon, through the streamings. But there is already a less passive process. And, perhaps there, with filmmakers already producing their ideas by having a streaming as the main screen, without going through the circuit, the influence on the aesthetics of the films can be noticed. “
Looking beyond the window of his country, It’s All True went from investigating institutionalized racism – MLK / FBI, by Sam Pollard – to studies on the decline of leaders who wore the certainties of history – as seen in Gorbachev. Heaven, by Vitaly Mansky. He also sought a Gambit from the nonfiction Queen: Glory to the Queen, by Tatia Skhirtladze, about chess players from Georgia in the Cold War. The opening will be with Fuga (Flee), a Danish animation awarded at the Sundance Festival. Directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, the production focuses on the struggle of an Afghan intellectual with secrets from his past, on the eve of living a great love and celebrating his academic success.
“It is an animated doc made over four years, which transposes us to a complicated reality, which is to flee from tyrannies to find happiness”, says Labaki, who also scheduled a posthumous tribute to Chris Marker (1921-2021), director of A Pista (La Jetée, 1962), and a section of documentaries related to the lyric, poetics and politics of Caetano Veloso, called Caetano.Doc. Another tribute that promises to mobilize the festival is a retrospective of the documentary portion of the work of the Mozambican living in Brazil Ruy Guerra, in an opening for the celebrations of his 90th birthday, to be celebrated on August 22. It will show the Compromidos – Proceedings of a Decolonization Process (1984) and Mueda: Memória e Massacre (1979/80).
“What is most impressive about Ruy’s work is an impressive formal restlessness, which makes Os Cafajestes completely different from more recent films like Almost Memory. He didn’t do much non-fiction, but what he did is restless,” said Labaki.
To conclude, a study on the native peoples of this homeland, who represented Brazil in the Berlinale, earlier this month: Luiz Bolognesi’s Last Forest, with a script by the shaman Davi Kopenawa Yanomami.