‘Brazil is not a democracy’: Cannes contender’s cast stage red carpet protest

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Source: The Guardian

The cast and crew of Aquarius, a highly-regarded Brazilian film in Cannes, held aloft banners proclaiming ‘A coup took place in Brazil’ and ‘We will resist’ at the official premiere.

The cast and crew of Aquarius, an acclaimed Brazilian drama in competition at Cannes have used the film’s official premiere to mount a protest as what they see as a coup in their country.

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Writer-director Kleber Mendonca Filho, along with his cast and crew, climbed the steps to the Palais in Cannes before revealing a selection of banners apparently objecting to the recent impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff.

Aquarius is about an ageing music critic, played by Sonia Braga, eager to remain in her apartment despite developer pressure. Yet it is not an overtly political film, instead meditating on shifting familial allegiances and the way space intersects with identity.

The film was made before the current political crisis in Brazil, which has seen the country’s first female president forced from office, protesting her innocence about the crimes of which she has been accused.

In an interview with the New York Times last week, Mendonca Filho – whose own feelings about the country’s democracy are said to be “fervent” – was asked if his film was intended to reflect the country’s push for capitalist progress.

“Good films or books pick up on things in society, or in a country, but it is too early to say if this film does that before the film actually screens and people react to it,” he said. “Only then will I know. I am curious myself.”

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