Six years ago, on the screen of the Palácio dos Festivais, the scenes of “Yomared” disturbed some spectators present. In the traditional and conservative Serra Gaúcha, boldness and provocation were hallmarks of that performative film-essay, transiting between the documentary and the experimental. Even so, Porto Alegre filmmaker Lufe Bollini, a graduate of the Audiovisual Filmmaking Course at Unisinos (São Leopoldo/RS), went up to the stage three times to receive awards at the Gaucho Short Film Festival of the 45th Gramado Film Festival.
The title won best editing (for the director himself), actress (for Mariana Yomared) and music (for the protagonist and Band of the Malabares Convention). The production also took Honorable Mention at the 9th Festival Internacional da Fronteira (Bagé/RS).
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It is interesting to remember that, back in 2017, by assuming the artist as the author of that work, Lufe fled from problems that are still pointed out in the audiovisual sector today: male directors trying to enter the female space with mistaken views. That short was hers, with and about her: Mariana.
Of course, it was also about São Paulo, where the director from Porto Alegre migrated in 2014, and since then he had made documentary and essay short films about the artistic scene in the city center. And this whole trajectory culminates in the premiere of his first feature, “Anhangabaú”, which recently took place in the same location, but now in the 51st edition of the oldest uninterrupted film festival in Brazil.
The production from São Paulo, but with the majority of the team from Rio Grande do Sul, left the Festival de Gramado with the Kikito for best documentary – the only prize foreseen for the category, a decision of the event that proved to be clearly inappropriate, assuming it as a minor genre for the market. There was no vote by the popular jury and no appreciation by the critics’ jury.
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“Anhangabaú” is one of those films that is more than necessary. He brings an urgent fight from Brazil, or several fights sewn into one – and it’s good that these groups unite! The work speaks of gentrification as a result of real estate speculation, the housing problems of a large metropolis, the threat to indigenous culture, the preservation of Brazilian biomes and the social role of the artistic class, entering the field of confrontation, also articulating the concept of “ soundscapes”.
The rich documentary deals with the symbolic constructions of a city in dispute, with its memory totally devalued in favor of the capital (which appears very clearly in the feature film “Retratos Fantasmas”, by Kleber Mendonça Filho, also shown at the festival). The film connects the conflicts over the territory of the Guarani Mbya indigenous community with the resistance of Ouvidor 63, the largest artistic occupation in Latin America (which has existed for nine years), and of the Teatro Oficina Uzyna Uzona group (filmed with the physical presence of Zé Celso Martinez Correa), located in the Bixiga neighborhood, in São Paulo.
Three social groups heading towards confrontation
In all, it took seven years of work by the team to reach the assisted result in “Anhangabaú”. Filming took place between 2014 and 2020, when, in March of that year, the Guarani Mbya indigenous people finally entered into an agreement with the Military Police to vacate the land near the village of Jaraguá, in the northwest zone of São Paulo, where the condominium Reserva Jaraguá- Carinás. The construction company Tenda Negócios Imobiliário had obtained a permit to erect five buildings, eight meters from the Jaraguá Indigenous Territory (TI).
Currently, the work is embargoed, but director Lufe Bollini commented in Gramado, in the debate about the film, that, as soon as it is resumed, the Guaranis will once again occupy the area. “The village is located in the Jaguará Region, a few minutes from the city, in a Green Belt that is the last remnant of the Atlantic Forest in São Paulo”. According to the team, Eduardo Suplicy, who appears interceding for there to be no violent clash, has been together in this fight since forever.
The filmmaker also explained that it took two years to get closer to the indigenous people, in order to be able to film with them. The scene in which the Guarani leader enters the occupation in downtown São Paulo and speaks about the then new president (Bolsonaro), who would end everything, is the only connection declared between the three universes of the documentary, in the director’s view, which addresses territorial disputes through a performance narrative.
Producer and director of photography, Rafael Avancini, also from Rio Grande do Sul, analyzed the maturation time of the images. “We need this long trajectory to understand what to show,” he said.
Lufe Bollini highlighted the entry into the project of screenwriter André Luís Garcia, also from Porto Alegre and trained in Audiovisual Realization at Unisinos (but from a later class), to better link the interaction between the three movements portrayed in the feature: there are three groups that converge for the confrontation. The 2019 cut of “Anhangabaú” also participated in DOCSP’s Rough Cut Lab 2020 Selection, where it can count on the editing consultancy of Jordana Berg (renowned editor of Eduardo Coutinho’s documentaries).
“Film was more performative before. Jordana’s consultancy was essential to find the balance point and deepen the questions”, evaluates André Garcia, who admitted that the editor called the film “glauberian” – in the short film “Yomared”, awarded in 2017 in Gramado, a poster of “Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol” (1964), by Glauber Rocha, gains evidence in one of the scenarios.
Ember sleeping against the wind, seed planted in cement
The highlight of this entire network of ties is the strong presence of Valter Machado, the same as “Cine Morocco” (2021, by Ricardo Calil and edited by Jordana Berg), on stage. Lufe Bollini recognized that this recent film and “Era o Hotel Cambridge” (2016, by Eliane Caffé) are not references, but were revisited to understand how to make cinema with this type of theme.
Valter is a provocative character who lives in Ocupação Ouvidor 63 and is considered by the team to be a kind of philosopher of downtown São Paulo, important for questioning why the place is called “Anhangabaú”. “This is the Vale dos Maus Espíritos, Vale do Anhangabaú, downtown São Paulo”, says the bearded, hairy and colorful figure, with a cowboy hat.
The director explained that the artist also went to the indigenous community of Jaraguá and participated in the wedding whose scenes open the narrative of the documentary. Video artist Nicolas Collar, who was the cameraman for the feature, wanted to show that Valter was naturally present in the collective’s experiences “he is a social actor who performs his own identity. He was an important figure to make the documentary connections.”
The production of this significant milestone for contemporary Brazilian cinema is by Elixir Entretenimento, Kino-Cobra Filmes and Fogo no Olho Filmes. Producer Denis Feijão stated at the press conference in Gramado: “We, just because we are directors, are already political agents. This is the cinematography I like to work with. Showing in Gramado and guiding this in society is the most important thing. It’s a delivery cinema.”
Due to his delivery and resistance, the report asks permission to use verses by José Miguel Wisnik (song “Inverno”) for the title of this last section, seeing that – despite everything and everyone – the fight for this house on the ground of raw core envisions a certain “Anhangabaú of happiness”. However, it is worth pointing out that the filmmakers chose the theme “Vale do Anhangabaú”, by the rock band Jonnata Doll e os Garotos Solventes, from Fortaleza.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Editing: Marcelo Ferreira