29.11.23, 20:30, Dry Ground Burning (2022)
Joanna Pimenta & Adirley Queirós, 153', Portuguese spoken, English subtitles
Androgynous charmer Léa has just been released from prison and returns to Brazil's favela Sol Nascente. She joins her half-sister Chitara, the fearless leader of an all-female gang that steals and refines oil from underground pipes, only to sell it to a clandestine network of bikers. The women of Chitara, who are in constant rebellion against the authoritarian and militarised government of Jair Bolsonaro, claim the streets for themselves as a statement of radical political resistance on behalf of ex-prisoners and the oppressed. The reunion of the two half-sisters leads to some nostalgic conversations about their youth, their playboy father and Léa's 12-year-old son, fathered by a murdered ex-prisoner.
With a cast of local actors playing semi-fictionalised versions of themselves, filmmakers Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós — known for Once There Was Brasilia (2017) — offer a provocative portrait of dystopian contemporary Brazil. Documentary and narrative fiction and genre elements are blended to offer a new vision of the country's possible future. The Brazilian version of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), with an additional teaspoon of tobacco.