Magazine article Screen International

Cannes: Kleber Mendonca Filho, 'Aquarius'

Magazine article Screen International

Cannes: Kleber Mendonca Filho, 'Aquarius'

Article excerpt

Brazilian director discusses his Cannes Competition drama.

With his debut feature Neighboring Sounds (2012), Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonca Filho exposed the uneasy dynamics of a middle-class street in Recife.

In Aquarius, which is playing in Competition, he returns to his native coastal city of Recife to reveal the manoeuvres of the real-estate market.

The story follows an old widow, played by Sonia Braga (Kiss Of The Spider Woman), who is pressured into selling her apartment by developers. The film was shot in the only building on its street that has yet to be knocked down in the name of urban renewal.

When did this idea first interest you?

It has always been on my mind. I shot the video Paz A Esta Casa in 1994 about a demolished house. One scene in Neighboring Sounds also makes reference to it. The real-estate market doesn't consider the heritage of cities. I couldn't shoot Aquarius in my first choice building because it was partially destroyed in 2013.

In the film, Sonia Braga's character travels through time in a peculiar way.

I'm interested in archeology, archives, documents, old photos and everything that helps monitor the past. …

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