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Home is Where the Heart and the Blood Rest


By Roger Costa


“Did Trump influence you?” asks a disappointed French/Jewish father to his son when he hears the “tragic” news. His son returns home after a few years in America, announcing he is now a Catholic, therefore he can’t keep up with his family’s traditions and religious services. But he does so, in a way of pleasing his parents for the sake of their harmony. At one point he will have to remain firm to his life changing decision, even if it means breaking hearts and cutting ties. Based on his personal spiritual journey and experiences, director Gad Elmaleh conceives an uplifting dramedy filled with compassionate notes about acceptance, family values and faith. Funny and sarcastic, Elmaleh casts his own family as key characters, making it relatable and providing an instant connection to the audience. There’s no way to resist such charm and intellectual argument, as the players deliver convincing lines, especially on those silly, yet graceful and inspiring, hilarious moments. Those come as surprising as the film’s central element: it feels fresh for depicting such an unusual faith-based situation, never losing its appeal, never turning into obvious terrain.

Thwe result is a thoughtful and endearing story about family bond and learning how to grow apart from traditions.

(Film Movement. Now Playing at Quad Cinema NYC).


A prolific editor turned director, Pernambuco-born Daniel Bandeira’s sophomore project puts him in the frontline as one of Brazil’s current major cinematic voices. Utterly violent, claustrophobic and seductively tense, Bandeira creates a harrowing experience as teh film immerses the viewer into a bloodshed nightmare set in the outskirts of Recife.

A wealthy couple arrives at their ranch only to find their workers turned against them. The revolt is a consequence of the decision to sell the property to a hotel company, forcing the workers to abandon the place where they have been working and living for decades. What follows is an intense, macabre and horrifying cat-and-mouse deadly game, incredibly shot and efficiently edited. Its highest attribute is actually its fresh, innovative and gripping screenplay, which gives a masterclass in suspense and tension, just using subtle mecanisms such as detailed shots and mind-bending silence.

Influenced by Tarantino, Scorsese and Kleber Mendonca (it is impossible not to recognize some of his trademarks), Bandeira is simply another example of the effervescent breed of new filmmakers coming out of Recife and its region.

(Dark Star Pictures. Now Playing at Cinema Village NYC).

Social Press . 15/05/2024

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