Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

Aquarius 2016

Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho

Brazilian actress Sonia Braga has the role of her life in this engrossing and richly surprising portrait of a fiercely intelligent and independent woman fighting to save the apartment she loves from demolition.

Brazil / France In Portuguese with English subtitles
140 minutes CinemaScope / DCP
nudity, explicit sexual material and offensive language

Director/Screenplay

Producers

Émilie Lesclaux
,
Saïd Ben Saïd
,
Michel Merkt

Photography

Pedro Sotero
,
Fabricio Tadeu

Editor

Eduardo Serrano

With

Sonia Braga (Clara)
,
Maeve Jinkings (Ana Paula)
,
Irandhir Santos (Roberval)
,
Humberto Carrão (Diego)
,
Zoraide Coleto (Ladjane)
,
Fernando Teixeira (Geraldo)
,
Buda Lira (Antonio)
,
Paula De Renor (Fátima)
,
Bárbara Colen (Clara in 1980)
,
Daniel Porpino (Adalberto & Rodrigo)
,
Pedro Queiroz (Tomás)
,
Carla Ribas (Cleide)
,
Germano Melo (Martin)
,
Julia Bernat (Julia)
,
Thaia Perez (Aunt Lucia in 1980)
,
Arly Arnaud (Letícia)
,
Leo Wainer (Alexandre)
,
Lula Terra (Ronaldo)
,
Allan Souza Lima (Paulo)
,
Valdeci Junior (Josimar)

Festivals

Cannes (In Competition) 2016

Awards

Official Competition Winner, Sydney Film Festival 2016

PROUDLY SPONSORED BY

KLM

In a year worth noting for the number of strong women behind and in front of the camera, the most winning for many in the NZIFF audience is bound to be Dona Clara, the indomitable protagonist of Aquarius. She is played with great authenticity and flair by Sonia Braga, the star of such landmark Brazilian films as Kiss of the Spider Woman and Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. A music critic in her mid-60s, Clara is the last woman standing when developers propose to demolish the lovely old beachside apartment building in which she’s spent the better part of a very full life.

“Kleber Mendonça Filho’s stunning feature debut Neighbouring Sounds [NZIFF12] boldly announced a major new voice in Brazilian cinema… His much-anticipated follow-up is a more subtle film but no less mature, a calmer film but no less angry. Starring the incomparable Sonia Braga as a well-off widow holding on to her apartment against developer pressures, Aquarius is a character study as well as a shrewd meditation on the needless transience of place and the way physical space elides with our identity…

If the film feels as much Braga’s as Filho’s, it’s because the director has presented this gift to her (and to the viewer) on a silver platter. A breathtakingly intuitive actress, she’s beautifully aged into an aristocratically sensual physicality and makes Clara’s firmness mingle with tenderness. The camera rarely leaves her, and we as audience value every moment we’re in her presence.” — Jay Weissberg, Variety